Attention Capture by Direct Gaze is Robust to Context and Task Demands
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Eye-tracking was used to investigate whether gaze direction would influence the visual scanning of faces, when presented in the context of a full character, in different social settings, and with different task demands. Participants viewed individual computer agents against either a blank background or a bar scene setting, during both a free-viewing task and an attractiveness rating task for each character. Faces with a direct gaze were viewed longer than faces with an averted gaze regardless of body context, social settings, and task demands. Additionally, participants evaluated characters with a direct gaze as more attractive than characters with an averted gaze. These results, obtained with pictures of computer agents rather than real people, suggest that direct gaze is a powerful attention grabbing stimulus that is robust to background context or task demands.
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Roxane J. Itier, Adam Palancia (2012). Attention Capture by Direct Gaze is Robust to Context and Task Demands. UWSpace. http://hdl.handle.net/10012/11429