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Michael Kleiman, Elan Barenholtz; You lookin' at me? Perception of a real-time dyadic interaction influences gaze behavior. Journal of Vision 2017;17(10):547. doi: https://doi.org/10.1167/17.10.547.
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Previous studies have found that gaze behavior tends to be directed towards either the eyes or mouth of a talking face, depending on the situational context and task demands. However, these previous studies may not be representative of natural social interactions due to the participants' knowledge that they are watching pre-recorded videos, and as a result may not translate to real-time interpersonal communication. Here, we examined fixation behavior for when participants believed that they were engaging in a real-time dyadic interaction and compared this to when they were aware that they were watching a pre-recorded video. We used four video sequences of two actors (one male and one female) reading two lectures each. Each participant was shown two videos: one ('Real-time' condition) utilized deception to encourage observers to believe that they were interacting with a live person who was able to see and hear them through online remote video communication, and the other ('Pre-recorded' condition) contained only the lecture portion of the video with observers informed that they were watching a previously recorded video. We found a highly significant tendency of participants to gaze away from the face periodically when they believed they were engaging in a real-time interaction, resulting in significantly less time spent attending to the face compared to the Pre-recorded condition. In addition, we found that when participants were fixated on the face, they fixated the mouth at a higher proportion of time in the Pre-recorded condition vs. the Real-time condition. The findings suggest that the belief that an interlocutor can see you influences fixation behavior and suggests that previous studies that examine social gaze behavior may lack ecological validity.
Meeting abstract presented at VSS 2017
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