Are you looking at me? Eye gaze and person perception

CN Macrae, BM Hood, AB Milne, AC Rowe, MF Mason

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle (Academic Journal)peer-review

236 Citations (Scopus)


Previous research has highlighted the pivotal role played by gaze detection and interpretation in the development of social cognition. Extending work of this kind, the present research investigated the effects of eye gaze on basic aspects of the person-perception process, namely, person construal and the extraction of category-related knowledge from semantic memory. It was anticipated that gaze direction would moderate the efficiency of the mental operations through which these social-cognitive products are generated. Specifically, eye gaze was expected to influence both the speed with which targets could be categorized as men and women and the rate at which associated stereotypic material could be accessed from semantic memory. The results of two experiments supported these predictions: Targets with nondeviated (i.e., direct) eye gaze elicited facilitated categorical responses. The implications of these findings for recent treatments of person perception are considered.
Translated title of the contributionAre you looking at me? Eye gaze and person perception
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)460 - 464
Number of pages5
JournalPsychological Science
Publication statusPublished - Sept 2002

Bibliographical note

Publisher: Blackwell


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