Social Psychology Eye
- Issue Information June 10, 2013
- Review of Literature on Media Literacy June 10, 2013
- Work, Family, and Accounts of Mothers’ Lives Using Discourse to Navigate Intensive Mothering Ideals June 10, 2013
- Rethinking Migrant Families from a Transnational Perspective: Experiences of Parents and Their Children June 10, 2013
- Citizenship on the Margins: A Critique of Scholarship on Marginalized Women and Community Activism June 10, 2013
- Why do we join groups?
- The Pursuit of Happiness
- Confirmation Bias, Satire, and Stephen Colbert
- Hug me, Mom: Stroller or baby carrier?
- Women with hairy legs – an oxymoron?
- Act your age: young people will like you more!
- What is it about groups that promotes aggression?
- Gender Stereotypes and Success in the Military
- Are you afraid to go to Mexico? Mental shortcuts may promote misperceptions about risk
- Lacan and Social Psychology: Jacques Lacan kept silent on the topic of social psychology, never referring to i... bit.ly/15cYyMN 2 weeks ago
- External Validity, Why Art Thou Externally Valid? Recent Studies of Attraction Provide Three Theoretical Answe... bit.ly/15cYwnZ 2 weeks ago
- Emotion Regulation Frequency and Success: Separating Constructs from Methods and Time Scale: Research on emoti... bit.ly/17wOPoH 2 weeks ago
- The Dynamic Relationship Between Accuracy and Bias in Social Perception Research: How do perceivers make accur... bit.ly/15cYyMz 2 weeks ago
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Daily Archives: December 10, 2009
By Erica Zaiser
You know those moments when you are walking and someone else seems to be coming straight towards you. Don’t you hate when you both move to the same side to pass each other and then have an awkward moment where you almost collide? It usually ends with both parties engaged in that terribly uncoordinated dance, trying to figure out which way the other person is going to go. Or is that just me? But really, if you think about it, its pretty amazing how often we don’t actually run into each other. Most of the time when we walk down the street we coordinate our use of physical space with a total stranger pretty well, without saying a word, and we tend to do it very quickly. It makes you wonder, what are we doing to effectively communicate our intention to move left or right?
Research from the December issue of Psychological Science helps unravel this phenomenon a bit. In an experiment using eye-tracking, Nummenmaa and colleagues found that people use their gaze to indicate which direction they will travel. Conversely, you receive information from the gaze of an oncoming pedestrian and react by purposefully moving in the opposite direction. This might seem obvious but its actually an interesting finding because most past studies on gaze-following have shown it to be a reflexive social habit. In other words, when people look somewhere, we tend to automatically follow their gaze and look in the same direction. This research suggests that we might have two systems guiding our gaze -following: the first being an automatic response to follow the direction of a gaze and the second system based on intentions and goals, which allows us to interpret a gaze within a specific context. Thus, in the context of pedestrian navigation, gaze-following does not occur in its ordinary passive, automatic way… if it did, we might run into each other a lot more often.