Thursday, January 27, 2011

Eye Contact

Here is an interesting question.  When two people converse, they often make eye contact.  In fact, if you watch their eyes closely, you will find that they roam and glance across all parts of the face, and occasionally to the hands or parts of the surroundings as well.  Ignoring, for a moment, the rich trove of information contained in the multiple glances at the mouth, the hands, the room, etc. I wonder what might be learned from simply examining the contact between the eyes…
For example- when two people come to an emotionally important moment in the conversation, their eyes will often lock, and they will glance first at one eye, then another, then back and forth several times.  The question is: what is going on in this second of silent dialog?
Often, this interaction can be observed when one person is attempting to asses another person’s sincerity.  Other reasons apply as well.  It would be interesting to notice the different patterns of eye contact between individuals who are telling the truth versus lying – between individuals who know each other versus those who don’t, and between those who are in different emotional states.
My own hypothesis is interesting, but I won’t go into it now - I've noticed my posts are often too long.

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