(Co-authored with Christoph Hoerner, University of Tilburg, currently in review, pre-published at SSRN.com in February 2023)
This paper co-authored with Christoph Hoerner, Tilburg University, reports about an eyetracking experiment that we conducted with investment professionals. The gist of the experiment was to find out if investment professionals respond to graphical information about non-financial information more than just the plain data. The paper is freely available at SSRN.com (see link below).
When disclosing and communicating information, companies often distribute investor and analyst presentations (IAPs) as supporting materials. Companies enjoy substantial leeway in designing these presentations, which can facilitate a positive impression of a company’s value. In an experimental study with investment professionals, we investigate whether supplementing quantitative data with a graphic connecting (positive) non-financial performance drivers with financial performance outcomes, instead of simply describing such a value creation model in words, can direct investors’ attention to specific, positive key performance indicators and shape subsequent investment judgments when limited time is available. Building on theory that suggests graphics are particularly salient and accessible, we hypothesize and find that graphics can direct investors’ attention and yield higher assessments of a company’s investment attractiveness. Eye-tracking data illustrates the underlying theoretical process. Our results are important because they suggest that companies can use graphics to set a narrative and guide, if not manipulate, investors.