Another great article on reading people’s emotions!! It’s interesting that Researcher Monika Moore found that men often miss a women’s first eye-gazing courtship signal and that they need to give it three times before we as man get the hint.
Looking to Their Right = Auditory Thought (Remembering a song) Looking to Their Left = Visual Thought (Remembering the color of a dress)
Have always heard that looking to the left is remembering something from the past and looking to the right is anticipating something in the future.
I have had suspicions about my girlfriend cheating on mea lot of the signs are there and she denies it all the time but last night II said once a cheater always a cheatershe instantly started rubbing her eyes and looked awayI know she loves me and I love her but is that a pretty strong sign
Hi Wray, thank you for your comment. I’m sorry to hear about your current situation. Remember, there is not ONE SIGN that means someone is lying. Our recommendation is that you always baseline first (observe how they act in a calm, neutral environment), then look for red flags as you press deeper into the conversation. Three red flags is seen as a cluster, and you should definitely discuss this topic more. -Danielle and the Science of People Team
I work with a man who picks his nose aggressively when staring at small children. Is this a sign of aggression?
Oh my goodness this is gross. I have not seen nose picking as a sign of aggression. Probably a sign that he is very inept at social norms!
Oh…there is research that says the nose tissue swells with blood when aroused. Ugh I hope there is no correlation here!
I don’t know about you, but i would call the authorities and have him removed from that scenario. Maybe it is just me, but that could just be a nervous twitch. One that only shows itself when staring at children….. Which kind of makes me a bit leery of his ….. goals in life…..
Hey this is really interesting I actually came to this page to understand what I was feeling and realized I was eye-blocking (because I was disgusted with someone)
I find that its really awkward to acknowledge something like that in a social context. “sorry but I find you repulsive and creepy”. Is that how women feel when they meet a creepy guy? disgusted and superior?
I was wondering if you have any citations for these studies, because I was unable to find any during a preliminary search.
Thanks for writing in! The study on eye gazing is interesting. As I mentioned above I don’t rely on it bc it simply has not been accurate enough for me except when I baseline first and even then there are so many other more reliable indicators of deceit. Check out this study and some of the articles he references if you want to dig a little deeper:
Watch for the clusters. Smiling and laughing, coupled with open body language and a head tilt? Green light. Raised brow but crossed arms and legs? Take it slow and steady.
Making eye contact, even if it’s just 30% of the time, has been shown to significantly increase people remembering what you say.
Liars are much more likely to keep eye contact even after saying a lie. They do this to check your face for believability cues, to see if you bought the lie or not. Look for the long stare the next time you want to spot a lie!
Pupils size is a longstanding cue that’s had attention in the past. Here are a few ways we’ve used our pupils to throughout history:
In other cases, if someone immediately looks down during conversation, it could mean they feel insecure, unconfident, or are just thinking. We could also be conducting inner dialogues and demonstrating submissiveness 3 . In many Eastern cultures like Japan or China, it is taught that making direct eye contact-especially with higher-ups-is rude, so looking down is quite normal.
Here’s an example of Lance Armstrong right as the interviewer says “performance-enhancing drugs.” Notice his eye block and the fluttering of his eyelids (timestamp 0:58):
So why do we do it when we’re scared? A 2013 study found that widening eyes increases our visual periphery effectiveness by 9.4%. In other words, people who widen their eyes are better able to spot signs of danger or incoming threats more easily.
In fact, our eyes normally make around 3 saccades per second! And researchers also found that people who have faster saccades tend to be more impatient. But if we were to stare at a person’s eyes without moving our own? We would look like we were “vacantly staring” into the distance 2 . Not so great if we want to look charismatic.
Eye Signs and Chronic Disease
I also believe looking up can nonverbally indicate that one is processing the question, but I think that just closing ones eyes to block out visual stimuli with no head movement is a little bit more on the spectrum of socially awkward.
My favorite part about this article is what the eye direction movements mean since it is one of the subconscious indicators we use that many people aren’t aware of. Once you’re able to get these movements memorized it’s much easier to read people!