The study of body language is an endlessly fascinating field of research, and of all forms of human non-verbal communication, eye contact is arguably the most powerful.  The Wall Street Journal recently published two terrific articles on the subject of eye contact, with one focused on new research indicating that adults make eye contact between 30% and 60% of the time in an average conversation.  The problem, however, lies in the fact that people should be making eye contact 60% to 70% of the time in order to create a minimum level of emotional connection (experts link the decline to the growing use of distracting smartphone technology).  In WSJ‘s second feature, journalist Sue Shellenbarger focuses on the enormous impact that eye contact has on our experience in the workplace and our careers at large.  The following is a short excerpt:

“If the boss looks at you longer than at your co-workers during conversations or meetings, it may be a sign your star is rising.  A growing body of research shows eye contact signals status and influence in both one-on-one conversations and group meetings … People who are seen as lacking in influence, however, get less eye contact from influential participants in meetings, according to another study published in 2010 in the ‘Journal of Nonverbal Behavior.’  The pattern is strongest among male bosses … The most dominant person in a small group spends more time speaking than others, and also looks longer at others when speaking, the study says.  Gazing into others’ eyes is a way of dominating the conversation.  High-status women use even more eye contact than men to establish their dominance during meetings, the study says … High-status women tend to be more democratic than men, dividing their eye contact equally among all other participants in a group.  High-status men tended to spend more time looking at other high-status participants.”

You can read The Wall Street Journal‘s “Is the Boss Looking at You? You’d Better Hope So” by CLICKING HERE.  To read WSJ’s other feature on the power of eye contact CLICK HERE.

SEE ALSO: “The Emotional Life Of Your Brain”: How To Manipulate Your Brain’s 6 Dimensions
SEE ALSO: The New York Times Looks At The New Science Of “The Threatening Scent Of Fertile Women”


Writer, editor, and founder of FEELguide. I have written over 5,000 articles covering many topics including: travel, design, movies, music, politics, psychology, neuroscience, business, religion and spirituality, philosophy, pop culture, the universe, and so much more. I also work as an illustrator and set designer in the movie industry, and you can see all of my drawings at

Comments are closed.

Exit mobile version