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Gaze allocation in a dynamic situation: Effects of social status and speaking

Foulsham, T and Cheng, JT and Tracy, JL and Henrich, J and Kingstone, A (2010) 'Gaze allocation in a dynamic situation: Effects of social status and speaking.' Cognition, 117 (3). 319 - 331. ISSN 0010-0277

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Human visual attention operates in a context that is complex, social and dynamic. To explore this, we recorded people taking part in a group decision-making task and then showed video clips of these situations to new participants while tracking their eye movements. Observers spent the majority of time looking at the people in the videos, and in particular at their eyes and faces. The social status of the people in the clips had been rated by their peers in the group task, and this status hierarchy strongly predicted where eye-tracker participants looked: high-status individuals were gazed at much more often, and for longer, than low-status individuals, even over short, 20-s videos. Fixation was temporally coupled to the person who was talking at any one time, but this did not account for the effect of social status on attention. These results are consistent with a gaze system that is attuned to the presence of other individuals, to their social status within a group, and to the information most useful for social interaction. © 2010 Elsevier B.V.

Item Type: Article
Subjects: B Philosophy. Psychology. Religion > BF Psychology
Divisions: Faculty of Science and Health > Psychology, Department of
Depositing User: Jim Jamieson
Date Deposited: 29 Nov 2011 12:12
Last Modified: 05 Feb 2019 15:15

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