Eye contact in communication

EYE CONTACT IN COMMUNICATION. EYE CONTACT IN COMMUNICATION.  Term Paper ID:18946 Essay Subject: A study of some of the discoveries on its function. Discusses its role in revealing personality & presents several experiments. Gives a scientific description of the eye & its function....

8 Pages / 1800 Words 13 sources, 21 Citations, APA Format 32.00 Paper Abstract: A study of some of the discoveries on its function. Discusses its role in revealing personality & presents several experiments. Gives a scientific description of the eye & its function.Paper Introduction: In contemporary sociological and psychological research, it has been estimated that at least 65 percent of communication between people is expressed through nonverbal messages.

Within this category, the largest percentage of nonverbal communication occurs visual, or as eye contact in communication. This paper will first present a brief biological overview of the way the human eye works, and will then focus on the visual aspects of nonverbal communication, attempting to analyze the way the eye acts to reveal personality and emotional communication. Scholarly research indicates that there are at least nine components of communication that are expressive in a nonverbal manner, leading to increased difficulties in understanding and explaining communication. These components follow: the human body, in that physical characteristics often convey a message; Similarly, visual nonverbal behaviors become even more interesting when studied inrelation to children, since children have a more limited use of vocabularyand hence are not as capable of expressing themselves verbally as an adultmight be (Harper, Wiens & Matarazzo, 1978).

Thus, sociologically and psychologically, visual nonverbal communication can clearly never be underestimated in itspower to influence, sooth, express, and communicate the wide variety ofactions within the human condition. Incontemporary films, visual messages are paramount in description, emotionality, and the like. Erlbaum. For instance, along with gestures, eye contact functions as a primaryregulator of human social interaction.

The human eyeball is capable of free movement in everydirection except laterally. (1988). 8 ). Everywhere humans look there are visual messagesdesigned to entrance, entice, and otherwise affect human behavior.

In order forlight to find its way to the retina, it must pass through the vitreoushumor, about four-fifths the total volume of the eye. When people averttheir eyes from ours we not only feel less liked; in return, we like themless (Webbink, 1986, p.

2 ). Within this category, the largestpercentage of nonverbal communication occurs visual, or as eye contact incommunication. Moreover, the visual power of actors andactresses establishes an undiminished link between the pragmatic and thepossible, establishing a greater degree of commonality between audience andperformer than ever before. Throughskillful manipulation of emotions and attitudes, the visual message cansend waves of sadness, joy, desire, hunger, or excitement to an all-to-willing audience (Plegens, 1991, pp.

Mahl, G. F. The emotional language of the eyes is also of paramount importance invisual nonverbal communication. One set of experiments shows that attitude can be immediatelyrecognized simply through visual nonverbal communication.

Social psychology. Visual nonverbal communication is often the summation of the way thathumans transmit information on both a conscious and subconscious level(Sears, et. al., 1989, p. New York:Harper & Row.

Ekman, P., & Friesen, W. V. University Studyin Education, Psychology, and Social Research, No.

Eye contacthas also been found to be even more important than the smile when it comesto the mother's response to her infant. Like nonverbal behavior ingeneral, eye contact is one of the most expressive forms of behavior thatserve to regulate human interaction and qualify verbal responses. (1964). Certainly, feelingsof intense love and emotion are often relegated to the eyes. Using a series of standard statistical tests, Baesler and Burgoon (1987) established that most nonverbal behaviors can bemeasured reliably and that the codes that are used to establish certainguidelines within nonverbal research are also statistically reliable.

In part, this may bethe result of not only the recognition, but also the popular realizationthat nonverbal behaviors account for a substantial portion of communicationbetween human beings and that they are important indicators of thought, emotion, attitude, and socialization (Burgoon, et. al.

, 1989). Nonverbal communication. These same studies have found that the eyes play a large part in thefacial expression of emotion.

Further, blind infants who lack such exchanges often show damagedobject and human relationships later in life (Webbink, 1986, pp. Plegens, P. Aside from the physiological aspects of human vision, within the pasttwo decades there has been a significant increase in empirical attentionwithin the field of visual nonverbal communication. 19). (Nummennmaa, 1964).

Of all the myriad aspects of human nonverbalcommunication, perhaps it is the visual that is perceived in a regularfashion, and the variable that acts in congruence and alone to make humancommunication more effective. Explorations in nonverbal and vocal behavior. Hillsdale: L.

One study found that certain complexemotions (e. g. Six muscles, fourstraight and two oblique, are connected to the eyeball and allow itsmovement. Journal of Nonverbal Behavior, 11,(3),18 -19 . This, ofcourse, has strong implications for the therapist, researcher, and layperson alike (Mahl, 1987).

Generally speaking, however, whether or not one likes another personwho makes eye contact depends on whether the interaction is positive ornegative, threatening or comfortable, limited or extended, or intimate orprofessional. (1989). pleasure, surprise, and anger) can be perceived only throughreading the eyes. Scholars and lay readers alike oftenascribe wide ranges of emotions and states of being to the eyes, and infolklore, certain physical properties of the eyes have been traditionallyassociated with emotions and character trains.

Webbink, P. Similar studies show than many blind individualshave a less developed emotional sense than sighted persons. The energy is then transported to the brain viathe optic nerve, where the energy then becomes meaning and allows the restof the body to react to visual stimuli (Webbink, 1986, pp.

Certainly, it is much easier to gauge the sincerity of aspeaker while watching the speech or conversation than it is to simply"hear" the words. Between thecornea and the lens is the usually pigmented iris, acting as a window shaderesponding automatically to the amount of available light. The main aspect appeared to be the waythe eyes themselves were opened, while the direction and movement of thegaze followed. Asuspensory ligament holds the lens in place behind the iris, attached tociliary muscle which, when contracted, pulls on the ligament, which in turnpulls the lens, thus causing the elastic lens to flatten.

Sears, D. O., et. al.

46-52). Perceptual and Motor Skills, 18, 119-158.

174-7). Eye contact is an important nonverbalmechanism by which conduct and informational exchange between speaker andlistener occurs in conversation. (1987). It has social, religious, andpolitical significance. These emotions, in fact, were recognized by raters whoobserved photographs of the eyes.

9. In the field of social psychology, studieson visual nonverbal communication are extremely important since they helpdefine the distinction between personal-expressive and standardcommunicative actions in the entire process of communication. Additionally, studies haveshown that children's visual expressivity is often more powerful anddominant than their verbal behavior, in part because of limited vocabularydevelopment and a lack of some of the repressive socialization regardingnonverbal behaviors that adults express (Neill, 1989, pp. Regulation refers to the manner inwhich humans communicate smoothly.

Trimboli, A., & Walker, M. B. Educational Research 31, 261-265. This is not apermanent fixture, however, although it often takes a blind person longerto develop the emotional tools necessary to accurately judge sincerity andexpression simply through aural communication (Ekman & Friesen, 1969).

2 ). Nummennmaa, T. Another study (Thompkins & McCarter,1964) concluded that excitement and interest are conveyed by eyes whichlook at and follow the observed with eyebrows down. Finally, lightreaches the retina, where the actual transformation of light energy intonerve energy takes place.

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