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

Abstract

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.

This is a preview of subscription content, access via your institution.

Fig. 1
Fig. 2
Fig. 3

References

  1. Adams RB, Kleck RE (2003) Perceived gaze direction and the processing of facial displays of emotion. Psychol Sci 14:644–647

    PubMed  Article  Google Scholar 

  2. Adams RB, Gordon HL, Baird AA, Ambady N, Kleck RE (2003) Effects of gaze on amygdala sensitivity to anger and fear faces. Science 300:1536

    PubMed  Article  CAS  Google Scholar 

  3. Baron RM, Kenny DA (1986) The moderator-mediator variable distinction in social psychological research: conceptual, strategic, and statistical considerations. J Pers Soc Psychol 51:1173–1182

    PubMed  Article  CAS  Google Scholar 

  4. Bayliss AP, di Pellegrino G, Tipper SP (2005) Sex differences in eye gaze and symbolic cueing of attention. Q J Exp Psychol 58:631–650

    Google Scholar 

  5. Canli T, Sivers H, Whitfield SL, Gotlib IH, Gabrieli JD (2002) Amygdala response to happy faces as a function of extraversion. Science 296:2191

    PubMed  Article  CAS  Google Scholar 

  6. Caprara GV, Barbaranelli C, Borgogni L, Perugini M (1993) The big five questionnaire: a new questionnaire to assess the five factor model. Pers Individ Dif 15:281–288

    Article  Google Scholar 

  7. Cristinzio C, N’Diaye K, Seeck M, Vuilleumier P, Sander D (2010) Integration of gaze direction and facial expression in patients with unilateral amygdala damage. Brain 133:248–261

    PubMed  Article  Google Scholar 

  8. Dalton KM, Nacewicz BM, Johnstone T, Schaefer HS, Gernsbacher MA, Goldsmith HH, Alexander AL, Davidson RJ (2005) Gaze fixation and the neural circuitry of face processing in autism. Nat Neurosci 8:519–526

    PubMed  CAS  Google Scholar 

  9. Ekman P, Friesen WV (1976) Pictures of facial affect series. Consulting Psychologists Press, Palo Alto, CA

    Google Scholar 

  10. Eysenck HJ (1967) The biological basis of personality. Charles C. Thomas, Springfield, IL

    Google Scholar 

  11. Fox E, Mathews A, Calder AJ, Yiend J (2007) Anxiety and sensitivity to gaze direction in emotionally expressive faces. Emotion 7:478–486

    PubMed  Article  Google Scholar 

  12. Frischen A, Bayliss AP, Tipper SP (2007) Gaze cueing of attention: visual attention, social cognition, and individual differences. Psychol Bull 133:694–724

    PubMed  Article  Google Scholar 

  13. Ganel T, Goshen-gottstein Y, Goodale MA (2005) Interactions between the processing of gaze direction and facial expression. Vis Res 45:1191–1200

    PubMed  Article  Google Scholar 

  14. Hadjikhani N, Hoge R, Snyder J, de Gelder B (2008) Pointing with the eyes: the role of gaze in communicating danger. Brain Cogn 68:1–8

    PubMed  Article  Google Scholar 

  15. Hietanen JK, Leppänen JM (2003) Does facial expression affect attention orienting by gaze direction cues? J Exp Psychol Hum Percept Perform 29:1228–1243

    PubMed  Article  Google Scholar 

  16. Horley K, Williams LM, Gonsalvez C, Gordon E (2003) Social phobics do not see eye to eye: a visual scanpath study of emotional expression processing. J Anxiety Disord 17:33–44

    PubMed  Article  Google Scholar 

  17. Horley K, Williams LM, Gonsalvez C, Gordon E (2004) Face to face: visual scanpath evidence for abnormal processing of facial expressions in social phobia. Psychiatry Res 127:43–53

    PubMed  Article  Google Scholar 

  18. Janowsky DS, Morter S, Tancer M (2000) Over-representation of Myers Briggs Type Indicator introversion in social phobia patients. Depress Anxiety 11:121–125

    PubMed  Article  CAS  Google Scholar 

  19. Mathews AM, Fox E, Yiend J, Calder A (2003) The face of fear: effects of eye-gaze and emotion on visual attention. Vis Cogn 10:823–835

    PubMed  Article  Google Scholar 

  20. Moukheiber A, Rautureau G, Perez-Diaz F, Soussignan R, Dubal S, Jouvent R, Pelissolo A (2010) Gaze avoidance in social phobia: objective e measure and correlates. Behav Res Ther 48:147–151

    PubMed  Article  Google Scholar 

  21. Mumenthaler C, Sander D (2012) Social appraisal influences recognition of emotions. J Pers Soc Psychol 102:1118–1135

    PubMed  Article  Google Scholar 

  22. N’Diaye K, Sander D, Vuilleumier P (2009) Self-relevance processing in the human amygdala: gaze direction, facial expression, and emotion intensity. Emotion 9:798–806

    PubMed  Article  Google Scholar 

  23. Öhman A (1986) Face the beast and fear the face: animal and social fears as prototypes for evolutionary analyses of emotion. Psychophysiology 23:123–145

    PubMed  Article  Google Scholar 

  24. Putman P, Hermans E, Van Honk J (2006) Anxiety meets fear in perception of dynamic expressive gaze. Emotion 6:94–102

    PubMed  Article  Google Scholar 

  25. Richards A, French CC (1991) Effects on encoding and anxiety on implicit and explicit memory performance. Pers Individ Dif 12:131–139

    Article  Google Scholar 

  26. Sander D, Grafman J, Zalla T (2003) The human amygdala: an evolved system for relevance detection. Rev Neurosci 14:303–316

    PubMed  Google Scholar 

  27. Schwerdtfeger A (2006) Trait anxiety and autonomic indicators of the processing of threatening information: a cued S1–S2 paradigm. Biol Psychol 72:59–66

    PubMed  Article  Google Scholar 

  28. Spielberg CD, Gorsuch RL, Lushene RE (1970) Manual for the State-Trait Anxiety Inventory (self-evaluation questionnaire). Consulting Psychologists Press, Palo Alto, CA (Italian ed. 1989)

    Google Scholar 

  29. Stein MB, Goldin PR, Sareen J, Zorrilla LT, Brown GG (2002) Increased amygdala activation to angry and contemptuous faces in generalized social phobia. Arch Gen Psychiatry 59:1027–1034

    PubMed  Article  Google Scholar 

Download references

Author information

Affiliations

Authors

Corresponding authors

Correspondence to Luigi Trojano or Massimiliano Conson.

Rights and permissions

Reprints and Permissions

About this article

Cite this article

Ponari, M., Trojano, L., Grossi, D. et al. “Avoiding or approaching eyes”? Introversion/extraversion affects the gaze-cueing effect. Cogn Process 14, 293–299 (2013). https://doi.org/10.1007/s10339-013-0559-z

Download citation

Keywords

  • Emotional facial expressions
  • Gaze-cueing
  • Personality
  • Introversion and extraversion
  • Attention