Visual behavior patterns of successful decision makers in crime scene photo investigation: An eye tracking analysis

Rong Chi Chang, Meng Jung Tsai*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

2 Citations (Scopus)


Crime scene investigation serves as an important source of information for law enforcement officers when running a case. Effective leads are uncovered based on the knowledge, technique, and experience of the crime scene investigator. This study utilized eye-tracking technology to understand different decision makers'visual behaviors and decision-making process when studying a crime scene picture. A total of 42 college students majored in crime investigation were recruited as the subjects of the study. Eye movement data were collected and analyzed using t-test and ANOVA on eye-tracking measures of areas of interest (AOI) for visual attention distributions as well as lag sequence analysis (LSA), heat map, and scan path observations for visual transfer patterns. The results showed that participants who made the correct decision were faster in identifying the key target. Regardless of whether they made the correct decision or not, their visual attention was fixated on the answer option of their choosing. Additionally, the subjects’ attention must be shifted to the key target in order to make the correct decision. This study successfully applied the eye-tracking method to explore the investigation and decision-making process of inspecting a crime scene picture. Future studies can apply the eye-tracking method to deeply understand the process of information processing in investigating criminal scene pictures and provide more suggestions for professional training curriculum and instruction.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1072-1083
Number of pages12
JournalJournal of Forensic Sciences
Issue number3
Publication statusPublished - 2022 May


  • crime investigation
  • decision making
  • eye-tracking
  • photo investigation
  • visual attention

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Pathology and Forensic Medicine
  • Genetics


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