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Studying ‘natural’ eye movements in an ‘unnatural’ social environment: The influence of social activity, framing, and sub-clinical traits on gaze aversion

Mansour, Hassan and Kuhn, Gustav. 2019. Studying ‘natural’ eye movements in an ‘unnatural’ social environment: The influence of social activity, framing, and sub-clinical traits on gaze aversion. Quarterly Journal of Experimental Psychology, 72(8), pp. 1913-1925. ISSN 1747-0218 [Article]

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Abstract or Description

Experimental psychologists frequently present participants with social stimuli (i.e. videos or pictures) and measure behavioural responses. Such designs are problematic in that they remove the potential for social interaction and inadvertently restrict our eyes multifaceted nature as a tool to both perceive and communicate with others. The aim of the current study was to develop a new paradigm within which we can easily, and reliably measure the influence of top-down processes (i.e. belief), social activity (i.e. talking and listening), and possible clinical traits (i.e. gaze anxiety, and social interaction difficulties) onto gaze behaviours. Participants were engaged in a ‘real’ or pre-recorded Skype conversation. Finding suggest that participants who believed they were engaging in a real conversation spent less time looking at the speaker’s eyes, but no differences were found for dwell time onto the whole face. Within our non-clinical sample, higher levels of gaze anxiety resulted in reduced dwell time onto the whole face but not eyes, whilst social interaction difficulties produced reduced dwell time onto the eyes only. Finally, talking consistently produced reduced dwell time onto the whole face and eyes regardless of any other conditions.

Item Type:

Article

Identification Number (DOI):

https://doi.org/10.1177/1747021818819094

Keywords:

Social attention, Social cognition, Social Anxiety Disorder, Autism Spectrum Disorder, Eye movements

Departments, Centres and Research Units:

Psychology

Dates:

DateEvent
11 November 2018Accepted
12 January 2019Published Online
1 August 2019Published

Item ID:

25087

Date Deposited:

22 Nov 2018 10:50

Last Modified:

22 Jul 2019 10:12

Peer Reviewed:

Yes, this version has been peer-reviewed.

URI:

http://research.gold.ac.uk/id/eprint/25087

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