Amazing New Study Proves Just How Powerful The Human Gaze Really Is

by • October 3, 2013 • Psychology, Random NewsComments (0)6675

Our eyes are our single most powerful source of non-verbal communication.  There are many other ways in which we communicate non-verbal messages to those around us by means of our body language, but nothing comes close to being as expressive as the human gaze.  Oftentimes, we don’t even realize that the messages we are communicating to and receiving from others is an unconscious act — there is a vast amount of information being exchanged that we are not even aware of.  The human gaze has long been the focus of scientific analysis in order to unlock the secrets of its power, but a new study courtesy of the National Institutes of Health is offering new insights into the power of the human stare.

The abstract reads as follows: “We examined the effect of an image of a pair of eyes on contributions to an honesty box used to collect money for drinks in a university coffee room.  People paid nearly three times as much for their drinks when eyes were displayed rather than a control image.  This finding provides the first evidence from a naturalistic setting of the importance of cues of being watched, and hence reputational concerns, on human cooperative behaviour.”  The experiment used a photo of a set of eyes taped above an “honesty box” in a university kitchen where students were told they could pay whatever amount they like for their drinks, while the control experiment used a photo of a pot of flowers.  Students left very little money in the “honesty box” when the photo of the flowers was taped on the fridge, but students who took their drinks under the watchful gaze of a photo of human eyes were significantly more likely to contribute funds.  What’s more, a pair of seductive eyes generated the least funds, while a pair of neurtral or semi-angry eyes generated more.  But the eyes that made students contribute the most cash were the “creepy guy” eyes used in the experiment.

You can read the full story by CLICKING HERE.  If you’re fascinated by the subject of body language (i.e. non-verbal communication) then you absolutely must watch Amy Cuddy’s brilliant TED Talk where she explains how your body language is shaping your life and how to fix it.  It is seriously a must-see and you can watch it in full below.  And you can also read this article I posted several months ago on the important role of eye contact in the workplace: “Wall Street Journal Explains The Fascinating Ways How Eye Contact Is Boosting Or Killing Your Career”.\\


Comments are closed.