Article

Summary

WORDCOUNT: 495

Summary

Thearticle“In theeyeof thebeholder:Eye contactincreasesresistanceto persuasion”waswrittenby Frances Chen, Maren Schone, Julia Minson, andMarkus Heinrichs andpublishedin thejournalof Psychological Science in 2013.Theissueaddressedin thisarticleisthepossibilityof a directgaze reducingthechangeof attitudeof thelistenersin thedirectionintendedby thespeaker.Thecurrentresearchis one-sidedandshowsthata speakerwhomaintainstheeyecontactwith listenersis persuasive,butfailsto considertheeffectof listeners’gaze on persuasion.Chen(et al., 2013)predictedthata directgaze can motivaterecipientsof themessageto resisttheinfluenceof thespeaker,which in turnreducesthesuccessof thespeaker’spersuasiveefforts.

Method

Theauthors exploredtheissueof theeffectiveness of a directgaze in persuadingtheaudienceby conductinga setof two studies.Thefirststudywasconductedto examinetherelationshipexistingbetween reactiontothe persuasivemessageandspontaneouseyecontact.Theresearchers recruited20 participantsfrom Freiburg University whowatchedmoviescollectedfrom theinternet. Thedata werecollectedusinga questionnaire.Thesecondstudywasbased on&nbsptheresultsofthefirststudy,where42 universitystudentsobservedthesamespeakerpresentingopposingideas.Thesecondstudyattaineda betterexperimentalcontrol.Theindependentvariable in bothstudieswastheaudience’seyecontact.Independentvariables includetheattitudechange,attitudestrength,receptiveness, interestin video, validityof arguments,andemotionduring thevideo.

Results

Initial&nbspresults&nbspindicatedthatparticipantsspentmoretimegazinginto theeyesof thespeakerwhentheir earlierattitudewascloseto whatthespeakerwaspresenting.Thefindingsalsoindicatedthatparticipantsgazedin theeyesof thespeakerwhenthegaze of thespeakerwasaverted.Thisimpliesthateyecontactmay be aversein persuasivecontexts.In addition,a higherpercentageof timespentgazingat the eyesof a given speaker wasassociatedwith highreceptiveness. Ahighpercentageof timespentgazingat the eyesof a given speaker wasassociatedwith a reductionin thechangeof attitude.Thesecondstudyreportedsimilarfindingsoftheeffectof timespentgazinginto theeyesof thespeakeron thechangeof attitudeandreceptiveness.

Discussion

Thefindingsreportedin thearticlecontradicttheculturalbeliefsandfindingsof priorresearchindicatingthatdirecteyecontactof theaudienceincreasereceptiveness andpersuasion.Thesefindingswereconsistent with what the authors hypothesized.Theimplicationof thesefindingsis thatspeakersshould associatechangeof attitudeandpersuasivenessof their speecheswith otherfactors(suchconsistentwiththe priorbelief)insteadof theaudiences’directeyecontact.Chen(et al., 2013) concludedthatfuturestudy should focusonthe psychologicalresponse,neural activation, andendocrinology reactionsin orderto providea directmeansof assessingtherelationshipsbetween dependentandindependentvariables.

Reference

Chen,S., Minson, A., Schone, M. &amp Heinrichs, M. (2013). In the eye ofthe beholder: Eye contact increases resistance to persuasion.PsychologicalScience,20 (10), 1-8. DOI: 10.1177/0956797613491968