Accepted Paper:

Disciplining the Observer: Implications of Eye Tracking Software on Legal Reasoning  

Author:

Kelli Moore (New York University)

Paper short abstract:

Eye tracking software measures what differently raced spectators attend to when watching videos of white police interactions with black people with implications for “legal science,” or, jurisprudence on race.

Paper long abstract:

Eye tracking technology first emerged in the 19th century as a way to study cognitive transformations during the act of reading. The technique has evolved into contemporary applications in employee training, market research, and product development. STS research on eye tracking techniques details their importance to neuromarketing and technology interface design (Schneider and Woolgar, 2012; Schull, 2012). In the wake of high profile verdicts favoring police in murder and misconduct trials, videos of police violence are an important, yet nominally unmarked form of forensic evidence used by the state. In the social sciences eye tracking techniques have implications for legal reasoning on police violence and the courtroom as a space of world-making through gesture and embodied labor (Goodwin, 2000; Alac 2014).

This paper emphasizes the other and means in 'science by other means.' It considers eye-tracking software and the black body in experiments involving the human eye in the time of the state's discovery of new reading protocols for its own surveillance video footage, whether appropriated from recording bystanders, CCTV, or dash camera. At a university social perception laboratory eye tracking software measures what differently raced spectators attend to when watching videos of white police interactions with black people. Paper discusses relationships between social science experiments on perception of racial difference and the "legal science" of race jurisprudence. The mediating role of eye tracking in the lab is emphasized in order to reconsider the value of ANT approaches to legal reasoning about scientific knowledge (Jasinoff, 1995; Mnookin, 1998, Latour, 2009) in the context of critiques of object-oriented ontologies.

Panel T059
Making Worlds: Feminist STS and everyday technoscience