restricted access Time Spent Viewing Captions on Television Programs

The eye movements of 23 deaf subjects, ages 14 to 61 years, were recorded 30 times per second while the subjects watched four 2.5-minute captioned television programs. The eye movement data were analyzed to determine the percentage of time each subject actually looked at the captions on the screen. It was found that subjects gazed at the captions 84% of the time, at the video picture 14% of the time, and off the video 2% of the time. Age, sex, and educational level appeared to have little influence on time spent viewing captions. When caption speed increased from the slowest speed (100 words per minute, or wpm) to the fastest speed (180 wpm), mean percentage of time spent gazing at captions increased only from 82% to 86%. A distinctive characteristic of the data was the considerable variation from subject to subject and also within subjects (from video to video) in regard to percentage of time spent gazing at captions.