Derek Pogue / EyeEm Getty Images  4] We learned early that it was polite and assertive is able to look people in the eye when we talk to them. Psychological research supports this: People who have a lot of eye contact – as long as it's not over the top – are usually perceived as more competent, trustworthy and intelligent. If you want to make a good impression, it is probably a good idea to meet the gaze of the person you are talking to. However, following this advice is not straightforward for everyone. It is well documented that the mutual view can be emotionally emotional and distracting and even unpleasant for some.
If this is your experience, you may welcome a recent study published in the journal Perception which documents a phenomenon known as "eye-contact illusion". To put it simply, we are not so good at saying whether or not a conversation partner looks us in the eye. We even tend to believe that they are, even if they are not (a bias that is magnified after we have been rejected.) Thanks to this illusion, you can give the impression of eye contact by making sure that you are in look the general direction of your friend's face.
To Demonstrate Eye Contact Illusion A member of the research team at Edith Cowan University, Oliver Guidetti, led four-minute talks with 46 male and female students to get to know you. Both Guidetti and the students he spoke with eye-control goggles wore eye glasses. Guidetti had a lot of eye contact (about 77 percent of the time, which led to 52 percent of the talk with each other), just as he usually did , For the other students, he chatted in the same random manner, but deliberately reduced his eye contact to around 25 percent and focused more on the mouth area of their faces (which resulted in mutual eye contact for only 3 percent of the conversation).
The critical test was how much the students in the two groups thought Guidetti was trying to make eye contact and how much they enjoyed the chat. In fact, both groups of students took the same eye contact and enjoyed the chat just as much. A subsequent experiment confirmed that this was not the case, because the lenses were difficult to assess the viewing direction.
The researchers, including lead writer Shane Rogers, said their findings are in line with previous evidence that suggests this during a normal conversation. Eye contact is perceived by the other person looking in the general direction of your face , not targeted to your eyes. The new findings can be reassuring for anyone who wants to be a good communicator who finds eye contact unpleasantly intense. "Do not look for the eyes of the audience, but look generally at her face and let the eye-contact illusion your partner experience do the work for you," the researchers said.
Christian Jarrett is the author of the forthcoming book Personology: Using the Science of Personality Change to your advantage.
This is an edited version of an article originally published by Research Digest and published by the British Psychological Society. Read the original article.