The robustness of individual differences in gaze preferences toward faces and eyes across face-to-face experimental designs and its relation to social anxiety

Nitzan Guy*, Yoni Pertzov

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

Abstract

Humans rely heavily on the visual and oculomotor systems during social interactions. This study examined individual differences in gaze behavior in two types of face-to-face social interactions: a screen-based interview and a live interview. The study examined how stable these individual differences are across scenarios and how it relates to individuals’ traits of social anxiety, autism, and neuroticism. Extending previous studies, we distinguished between individuals’ tendency to look at the face, and the tendency to look at the eyes if the face was fixated. These gaze measures demonstrated high internal consistencies (correlation between two halves of the data within a scenario) within both the screen-based and live interview scenarios. Furthermore, individuals who had a tendency to look more at the eyes during one type of interview tended to display the same behavior during the other interview type. More socially anxious participants looked less at faces in both scenarios, but no link with social anxiety was observed for the tendency to look at the eyes. This research highlights the robustness of individual variations in gaze behavior across and within interview scenarios, as well as the usefulness of measuring the tendency to look at faces separately from the tendency to look at eyes.

Original languageAmerican English
Article number15
JournalJournal of Vision
Volume23
Issue number5
DOIs
StatePublished - 2023

Bibliographical note

Publisher Copyright:
© 2023 The Authors

Keywords

  • eye movements
  • face preference
  • face-to-face
  • individual differences
  • social anxiety
  • social interaction

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