Eye Contact is Not All That It’s Cracked up to Be?
2013 10 17

By Isabel Alface | Nature World News



Eye contact during a conversation has long been viewed as a sign of confidence and a tool to use during persuasion. However, a new study has found that the opposite is more effective in ensuring your point gets received by the other party.

New research by a professor at the University of British Columbia Frances Chen studied his subjects by using new eye-tracking technology to follow the gaze, not just of the speaker, but of the listener as well. The findings are published in Psychological Science, a journal of the Association for Psychological Science.

In a string of exercises, they learnt that eye contact is only effective when the target of the gaze is already receptive to the speaker’s point of view. In one experiment, participants were more likely to find speakers convincing when they focused on their mouths rather than their eyes.

"There is a lot of cultural lore about the power of eye contact as an influence tool," said lead researcher Frances Chen, assistant professor at the University of British Columbia, Canada, who conducted the research at the University of Freiburg, Germany.

"But our findings show that direct eye contact makes skeptical listeners less likely to change their minds, not more, as previously believed," said Chen.

According to the authors, the findings highlight that eye contact can signal very different kinds of messages depending on the situation. While eye contact may be a sign of connection or trust in friendly situations, it plays an important role in the competitive or hostile encounters in primates and other mammal species.

The experiment found that participants who looked at the speaker’s eyes were less receptive to the arguments and less open to interaction with the advocates of the opposing views, and were thus more difficult to persuade.

[...]

Read the full article at: natureworldnews.com



Related Articles
Eye Contact May Disturb Autistic Kids’ Thinking
Symbolic Pics - The Eyes Have It
World’s first bionic eye gifts blind woman eyesight
The Eyes Have It: Marketers Now Track Shoppers’ Retinas
Where is the soul? In the eyes, psychologists claim
Laser procedure turns brown eyes blue, scientist says
They’re Watching You: Eye Posters Influence Behaviour


Latest News from our Front Page

UK hospital accused of selling body parts for booze
2014 07 31
A leading cancer hospital is to be investigated following allegations that one of its staff members exchanged human body samples for whisky and cash. The calls to investigate Christies NHS foundation trust came after the accusation was made by an anonymous whistleblower, prompting British MP Rosie Cooper to contact the watchdog, the Human Tissue Authority (HTA), the Manchester Evening News reports. British ...
15 dead, over 220 injured as multiple gas explosions hit Taiwan city
2014 07 31
Several blasts have ripped through Kaohsiung, a city in south-western Taiwan, killing 15, injuring over 220 and overturning the cars in the street, the Fire Agency said. The cause is thought to be gas leaks in the sewage system. The number of those injured is expected to rise, the Fire Department said. Many were also taken to schools across the city ...
TYPOGRAPHICAL ERROR on front page of alleged U.S. criteria for terrorist list
2014 07 31
We highlighted the recent report from Glenn Greenwald’s site, The Intercept, about the United States administration’s ’Terror Watch List’, and how "a 166-page document issued last year by the National Counterterrorism Center, spells out the government’s secret rules for putting individuals on its main terrorist database". Read: BLACKLISTED: The Secret Government Rulebook For Labeling You a Terrorist A reader with a sharp ...
Why is the State so obsessed by, and careless with, deadly pathogens?
2014 07 31
Earlier this month, we ran a report on the CDC anthrax blunder. As if that weren’t bad enough, there have been additional exposures since we posted that report. This time, it involved the shipment of live, highly contagious, and deadly H5N1 avian influenza samples. As previously reported, as many as 841 scientists and staff members at a US Centers for Disease ...
‘Catastrophic’: Hedge fund billionaire Paul Singer warns of EMP
2014 07 31
Imminent: ‘Only a matter of time’ until entire electric grid destroyed by natural or man-made event… Billionaire hedge fund manager Paul Singer is warning investors – and more broadly, lawmakers and leaders – about the potential destructive power of an electromagnetic pulse, or EMP, which could be triggered by solar events or artificially, via blasts in the atmosphere. According to Singer, research ...
More News »