Eye, Eye, Eye / The ‘Eye Thing’ in detail

donut crop color

Asperger disguise.

Gee Whiz! Social typicals surely would be less unhappy without so many restrictions placed on interaction.

This text is long, tedious, and of unknown function, but has much explanatory value for Aspergers, who are put into a coma by neurotypical rules and regulations about every last detail of life.

HOW BORING! No wonder Aspergers avoid “human” interaction. It’s so robotic! (And DUMB) _______________________________________________________________________________________


Conjugate lateral eye movements <CLEMs> (define) are involuntary lateral shifts of the eyes to the right or left. CLEMs are thought to be closely associated with cognitive processing; that is, we look away to the left or right while we are thinking, but look forward again when we stop processing information. People can be categorized as either right-lookers or left-lookers because approximately 75 percent of an individual’s CLEMs are in one direction

Gaze aversion (define)is when someone avoids looking at another person during an interpersonal encounter

Gaze omission (define) occurs when one person does not look at the other person but is not intentionally avoiding eye contact

Mutual gaze (define) refers to two people looking in the direction of one another’s faces

Oculesics (define) is the study of eye behavior, eye contact, eye movement, and functions of eye behavior

One-sided look (define) or glance is a gaze of one individual toward another person’s face that is not reciprocated. When we are interested, we look interested

Properties of eye behavior (list 3):

1. salience
2. stimulate arousal
3. involvement

Salience (explain): (because eye behavior, such as direct gaze, has a high probability of being noticed, it is usually a much more salient interaction signal than most other bodily motions) that is, the behavior of our eyes plays an extremely important role in managing our interactions, eliciting the attention of others, and communicating our interest in what others have to say

Stimulate arousal (explain): (eye behavior has a extraordinary ability to stimulate arousal)  It is virtually impossible not to experience some degree of arousal when we see another person (negative or positive)


Involvement (explain): (in our culture, it is difficult to establish eye contact with someone and not interact with him or her) Even with a stranger we meet for the briefest of moments while passing on the sidewalk, eye contact seems to oblige us to nod heads and smile, if nothing else) eye contact with another virtually commands involvement with that other – our eyes serve to hinder, help, or otherwise influence interaction


Functions of eye behavior (list 10):

1. scanning
2. establishing and defining relationships
3. eye behavior can oblige us to interact with another person
4. express emotions
5. control and regulate our interactions
6. gaze avoidance is increased by speakers who are using turn-maintaining cues
7. power displays
8. the physical distance
9. close others out
10. sign that we are in communication

Scanning (explain): our eyes scan, focus, and collect information about the world around us  (our prehistoric ancestors used scanning as a means to monitor the environment and protect themselves from harm–people with poor vision were at a disadvantage and are unlikely to be our ancestors) 

Establishing and defining relationships (explain): eye contact is often the first stage in the initial-encounter phase of a relationship  eye-to-body or eye-to-eye contact can determine whether a relationship is established and can add definition to a relationship (when a person catches the eye of another person, and if the receiver looks at the source, a relationship begins. If the receiver looks away from the source, a relationship is not started) 

Eye behavior can oblige us to interact with another person (explain): (interpersonal encounters usually begin with the two participants looking at one another and establishing eye contact) a person can be perceived as “too fast” or “too forward” if he or she looks more than is deemed appropriate by society (in our culture, staring is considered unacceptable and rude unless it is used to control an unruly person)


Express emotions (explain): (the eyes have always been a valuable source of information about emotional states. While many areas of the face can be controlled, the eye area is considered one of the least controllable) as a result, the eyes and the area surrounding them probably reveal more accurate information about emotional states than other areas of the face eyes can provide much information about the emotions of fear, happiness, sadness, anger, surprise, contempt, and disgust than other facial areas (however, we should remember that our best judgments of another person’s emotions are made when we have his or her entire face before us)

Control and regulate our interactions (explain): (teachers and students, managers and employees) the eyes assist in the synchrony of speech, conversation, and dialogue the eyes tell us when to encode a message, when to decode a message, and when to respond to another person

Gaze avoidance is increased by speakers who are using turn-maintaining cues (explain): those who want to continue talking often signal their intention by dramatically reducing their eye gaze toward the listener. Furthermore, listeners who wish for the speaker to continue usually gaze toward the speaker (called a gaze “window” in a conversation)

Power displays (explain): the sustained gaze or stare is an effective means by which individuals can display power furthermore, these power gazes generally elicit one of two visual responses. either the other person will stare back to communicate that your power display is being defied, or he or she will use gaze avoidance to escape

The physical distance (explain): with one steady look, a person can bring another person, who is physically distant, much closer (for example, speakers will scan and look at each person or groups of persons in an audience so that everyone in the audience feels closer to the speaker)

Close others out (explain): simply looking intently and closely at a particular person or persons can function much like shutting a door in the face of any others present
(by intently looking at one person, a source is telling others not to approach or enter the conversation)

Sign that we are in communication (explain): without eye contact, people do not feel that they are fully in communication

Types of eye behaviors (list 6):

1. mutual gaze
2. one-sided look
3. gaze aversion
4. gaze ommission
5. civil inattention
6. staring

Give examples of a mutual gaze: eye contact is characterized by mutual gaze that is centered on the eyes

Give examples of a one-sided look: here, however, the gaze is not reciprocated
(when someone avoids looking at another during an interpersonal encounter, even when the other is looking at him or her, gaze aversion has occurred)

Give examples of gaze aversion: gaze aversion may signal that you are not interested in what the other person has to say one may be unsure of one’s self and may not want him or her to read this in the eyes

Give examples of gaze omission: unintentionally avoiding eye contact
(Denise sits at the end of the bar. Stephen enters the lounge and glances at her. Occasionally, Stephen looks toward her, hoping to catch her eye. Each time he looks toward her, she is happily engaged in conversation with someone else. He eventually becomes dismayed and concludes that Denise is not interested in him.)

Give examples of civil inattention: “elevator look” civil inattention is a behavioral ritual in which two people are mutually present but not involved in interaction. They exchange momentary glances, then avert their gaze (quite simply, civil inattention is the glance, acknowledgment, and looking away–nothing more, nothing less)

Staring (explain): occurs when a person focuses in on another person and gives a long, hard, often invasive and uncomfortable-feeling look

Deception and eye behavior (explain):

most North Americans have learned skillfully to control the 12 inches of the upper body (upper chest, neck, and head) this has occurred because of the cultural norms established on detecting deceit. It seems that from an early age, we are taught (often unconsciously and unintentionally by a parent, teacher, friend, or sibling) to mask our deceit for example, when we were younger and misbehaved or made a mistake, an adult would say, “look me in the eye and tell me you did not do that,” therefore we would learn to mask and look the adult in the eye and inform her or him that we did not do that–even when we did do it! people in this culture are better at controlling facial behaviors than any other aspect of their body

slow-motion videos of people engaged in lying have shown that short bursts of facial activity interrupt their deceptive momentary expressions. However, these last less than one-fifth of a second and are micromentary expressions

 “those who lied did so 3 times per conversation, on average, with one subject squeezing in twelve”


Eye behavior and individual differences (list 5):

1. nature of relationships
2. cultural differences
3. contextual differences
4. personality differences
5. gender differences

Nature of relationships (explain):

the higher status individual generally receives more eye gazes from the lower-status person than the other way around. Both men and women look less at speakers who are lower in status than themselves in a pair where interactants report liking one another, a mutual gaze tends to be more prominent. Eye contact is also greater between persons engaging in intimate relationships

Cultural differences (explain):

a person’s culture is the context in which he or she learns the social norms of appropriate or inappropriate behavior. The influence of one’s ethnic and cultural environment on eye behavior has been observed by many scholars

Contextual differences (explain):

speakers who use more eye contact are judged by listeners to be more persuasive, credible, and sincere furthermore, when we find the situation comfortable, interesting, and happy, we tend to establish more eye contact with our partners
conversely, eye gazes in the direction of the partner are found to decrease during moments of embarrassment, guilt, or sadness

Personality differences (explain):

people who have a high affiliation, inclusion, or affection gaze more steadily at others  people who are dominant, authoritative, and extroverted have also been found to look more frequently those who experience anxiety about communicating use behaviors such as gaze aversion or gaze omission to avoid interaction when possible

Gender differences (explain):

women engage in more looking behavior than do men. Not only do they look more at their conversational partners while listening, they also look more while speaking
however, the amount of actual eye contact is greater male-male or female-female dyad than in a mixed-gender dyad


Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s