The Role of Stimuli-Driven and Goal-Driven Attention in Shopping Decision-Making Behaviors—An EEG and VR Study

Farzad Saffari, Sahar Zarei, Shobhit Kakaria, Enrique Bigné, Luis Emilio Bruni, Thomas Zoëga Ramsøy

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The human attention system, similar to other networks in the brain, is of a complex nature. At any moment, our attention can shift between external and internal stimuli. In this study, we aimed to assess three EEG-based measures of attention (Power Spectral Density, Connectivity, and Spectral Entropy) in decision-making situations involving goal-directed and stimulus-driven attention using a Virtual Reality supermarket. We collected the EEG data of 29 participants in 2 shopping phases, planned and unplanned purchases. The three mentioned features were extracted and a statistical analysis was conducted. We evaluated the discriminatory power of these features using an SVM classifier. The results showed a significant ( p-value < 0.001) increase in theta power over frontal, central, and temporal lobes for the planned purchase phase. There was also a significant decrease in alpha power over frontal and parietal lobes in the unplanned purchase phase. A significant increase in the frontoparietal connectivity during the planned purchase was observed. Additionally, an increase in spectral entropy was observed in the frontoparietal region for the unplanned purchase phase. The classification results showed that spectral entropy has the highest discriminatory power. This study can provide further insights into the attentional behaviors of consumers and how their type of attentional control can affect their decision-making processes.

Original languageEnglish
Article number928
JournalBrain Sciences
Issue number6
Publication statusPublished - 8 Jun 2023


  • EEG
  • attention
  • coherency
  • spectral entropy
  • virtual reality


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