Using Eye Tracking and Raiders of the Lost Ark to investigate stardom

Sarah Thomas, Adam Qureshi

Research output: Contribution to conferencePaperpeer-review


This paper will examine how cross-disciplinary work between celebrity studies and psychology may significantly develop our understanding of stardom. Using Raiders of the Lost Ark (Spielberg 1981) and Harrison Ford / Indiana Jones as a starting point, this paper will investigate the way in which audiences watch stars on screen and the different on and off screen elements that might influence this. It will report the findings of an experiment conducted using eye-tracking equipment to record the responses of participants who watched nine sequences from Raiders of the Lost Ark which exemplified different functions and representations of star identity and performance. All participants had prior experience of the film and familiarity with Harrison Ford as screen actor and celebrity figure, so the roles played by familiarity and expectation on participants’ responses to the moving image was also considered. The paper aims to explore whether audiences responded to Ford as a distraction from conventional narrative action as, due to their ‘spectacular’ star identity, stars may be interpreted as a somewhat disruptive screen presence at odds with realist form of classical cinema. Results suggested complex processes of identification and interpretation between audience and singular screen figure (star and /or character).
Original languageEnglish
Publication statusPublished - 28 Jun 2016
EventCelebrity Studies Conference - University of Amsterdam, Amsterdam, Netherlands
Duration: 28 Jun 201630 Jun 2016


ConferenceCelebrity Studies Conference
Period28 Jun 201630 Jun 2016


Dive into the research topics of 'Using Eye Tracking and Raiders of the Lost Ark to investigate stardom'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this