Sales Alert: Making Eye Contact May Not Be Such a Good Idea

consumer psychology

After gazing at the eyes of speakers who were trying to persuade them, research participants showed an average attitude shift of just 0.14 on a seven-point scale, compared with 0.6 if they had stared at the speakers’ mouths, says a team led by Frances S. Chen of the University of British Columbia in Canada. This and another experiment show that contrary to popular belief, eye contact decreases the success of attempts at persuasion, at least in the cultural context of the European university where the study was conducted. Because direct gaze has evolved in many species to signal dominance, eye contact may provoke resistance to persuasion, the researchers suggest.

SOURCE: In the Eye of the Beholder: Eye Contact Increases Resistance to Persuasion

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