Cognitive Processing

, Volume 14, Issue 3, pp 293–299

“Avoiding or approaching eyes”? Introversion/extraversion affects the gaze-cueing effect

Research Report

DOI: 10.1007/s10339-013-0559-z

Cite this article as:
Ponari, M., Trojano, L., Grossi, D. et al. Cogn Process (2013) 14: 293. doi:10.1007/s10339-013-0559-z


We investigated whether the extra-/introversion personality dimension can influence processing of others’ eye gaze direction and emotional facial expression during a target detection task. On the basis of previous evidence showing that self-reported trait anxiety can affect gaze-cueing with emotional faces, we also verified whether trait anxiety can modulate the influence of intro-/extraversion on behavioral performance. Fearful, happy, angry or neutral faces, with either direct or averted gaze, were presented before the target appeared in spatial locations congruent or incongruent with stimuli’s eye gaze direction. Results showed a significant influence of intra-/extraversion dimension on gaze-cueing effect for angry, happy, and neutral faces with averted gaze. Introverts did not show the gaze congruency effect when viewing angry expressions, but did so with happy and neutral faces; extraverts showed the opposite pattern. Importantly, the influence of intro-/extraversion on gaze-cueing was not mediated by trait anxiety. These findings demonstrated that personality differences can shape processing of interactions between relevant social signals.


Emotional facial expressions Gaze-cueing Personality Introversion and extraversion Attention 

Copyright information

© Marta Olivetti Belardinelli and Springer-Verlag Berlin Heidelberg 2013

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Neuropsychology Laboratory, Department of PsychologySecond University of NaplesCasertaItaly
  2. 2.Division of Psychology and Language SciencesUniversity College of LondonLondonUK
  3. 3.Salvatore Maugeri FoundationIRCCS, Scientific Institute of Telese Terme (BN)Telese TermeItaly

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