Social Issues / Eye Contact In American Society
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Autor: anton 20 December 2010
Words: 522 | Pages: 3
It has been said that eyes are the windows to the soul. In nonverbal behavior, the eyes play a significant role in communication. They usually convey internal feelings and accentuate other body movements. Out of all the other facial structures, the eyes have the ability to do the most. For example, on e can glance, stare, peek, blink, peer, gaze, roll, wink, raise and lower (eyebrows). Most importantly, eyes have the ability to convey ones true characteristics, attitudes, and feelings about people than verbal behavior. Ironicallly, while gazing may show strong emothions, it rarely lasts over three seconds before the person feels uncomfrotable and breaks away.
Presently, there are many people who use facial espression and especially ey movements to infer information about a persons thinking, honesty, and reaction. The interrogation method of the police, for example, depends heavily on where a persons eyes shift during a question.
Another way of telling someone's disposition is by how they blink their eyes. The blink rate of an individual is directly related to their psychological arousal. The normal person blinks 20 times per minute, each lasting a fourth of a second. Someone under stress or nervous, on the other hand, will blink significantly higher. Many lawyers use eye movement and eye blinks in order to trap a person on the stand or get a lead for which questions to ask.
In today's society, the eyes are usually the first thing others notice. THerefore, making good eye contact with the person you are speaking to is extremely improtant. From childhood, Americans are tought to look directly at the person talkin in order to show respect, interest, and attention. When the listener looks away, they are most likely to be confused or in disagreement with the speaker. If the listener is in agreement, they will look at the speaker and occasionally nod their head. A study performed in 1965 showed that when an interviewer asked normal non embarrassing questions, students looked directly back at them. However, when more personal questions were asked, they usually looked away when answering.
Culturally, eye contact is viewed as an indicator of self confidence. in the business world, for example, a firm handshake and solid eye contact will give the other person a good impression of you. This is not necessarily so in other countries such as Japan and Korea. To them, direct eye contact means weakness or sexual overtones(Olson). they try to focus on the speaker's neck in order to avoid the eyes.
A common gesture of the eyes is the gaze-down. It involves the head bowing forward and the eyes rotating downward. Our society usually considers this reflecting a defeated, guilty, or submissive attitude.
The last series of eye movements involve the eyebrows. One can raise the eyebrows to display uncertainty, disbelief, or surprise. It can also function to accentuate a facial expression. For example, people raise their eyebrows while staring, pouting, smiling, or giving demands. Research has also shown that when one eyebrow is raised it is a sign of skepticism and disbelief.
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