THE EFFECTS OF EYE BEHAVIOR ON HUMAN COMMUNICATION
•It is common to associate various eye movements with a wide range of human conditions
or traits: downward glances are associated with modesty; wide eyes with frankness,
wonder, naivety, or terror; generally immobile facial muscles and a rather constant stare
with coldness; and eyes rolled upward with fatigue or to suggest that another's behavior is
a bit weird.
•Another nonhuman feature that has received scholarly attention is "eyespots," eye-shaped
images located on
•Some feel that excessive blinking may be associated with various stages of anxiety--as if
attempting to cut off reality.
"eye flash," in which the eyelids are briefly opened without the accompanying
involvement of the eve- brows, for less than a second, used to emphasize particular
words, usually adjectives (Walker & Trimboli, 1983).
The eyebrow flash is yet another, but quite different gesture, discussed in depth in
GAZE AND MUTUAl. GAZE
Gaze refers to an individual's looking at another person; mutual gaze" refers to a
situation in which two interactants are looking at each other, usually in the region of
•At a distance of 3 meters, face-directed gazing can be distinguished, and shifting the
direction of the gaze by 1 centimeter can reliably be detected from a distance of 1 meter.
FUNCTIONS OF GAZING
•Regulating the flow of communication
•Reflecting cognitive activity
•Communicating the nature of the interpersonal relationship
REGULATING THE FLOW OF COMMUNICATION
•In some instances, eye gaze establishes a virtual obligation to interact.
•As Iong as we can avoid eye gaze in a seemingly natural way, it is much easier to avoid
•A length of gaze that exceeds this acknowledgment glance is likely to signal a desire to
initiate a conversation
Because speakers gaze less than listeners, it is the speaker's gazing that determines
moments of mutual looking. During these moments, it is highly likely that the listener
will respond with a "listener response," also called a "back-channel response," that
•Speakers generally look less often than listeners. But speakers do seem to glance during
grammatical breaks, at the end of a thought unit or idea, and at the end of the utterance.
•Although glances at these junctures can signal the other person to assume the speaking
role, we also use these glances to obtain feedback, to see how we arc being received, and
to see if the other will let us continue.
•A speakers gaze at the completion of an utterance may help signal the yielding of a