Wednesday, December 31, 2008

Eye Contact

Eye Contact
Lengths of gaze, rate of blinking and dilation of pupils all have effects on attraction between people. In America, a gaze lasting slightly longer than the cultural norm of two seconds communicates modest interest, while a longer stare takes on a predatory boldness.

In some cultures, staring curiously at strangers is allowed, while in others, anything, more than a fleeting glance is considered rude.

Since proper eye contact is strictly limited by cultural norms, how does one give out adequate visual signals violating cultural norms? The answer lies in “gaze-crossing” or “catching his eye”.

Both men and women can signal the intention to gaze by sweeping their eyes across another person’s view-field, apparently in the course of shifting their attention between two other targets of interest.

If gazing rights are culturally determined, increased blinking is a normal involuntary response to the emotional arousal which mutual gazing causes.

Some women wear mascara or artificial lashes to accentuate the blink. Since people blink faster when they are anxious, women who blink or “bat” their eyes are telegraphing that another person is arousing them. But men are not expected to blink faster when attracted, and many of them experience the anxiety associated with emotional arousal as a stumbling block in initiating relationship.

Expanding pupils are also an involuntary response, and they both induce and respond to attraction in powerful ways that are not yet fully understood.

In the middle ages women took drug belladonna to enlarge their pupils and make themselves more attractive. Dilated pupils still have the same effect. In a modern study, men compared two nearly identical photos and rated the one with artificially enlarge pupils as more attractive, though they couldn’t say why.
Eye Contact

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