Eye Movements When Looking at Potential Friends and Romantic Partners
Eye movements of 105 heterosexual undergraduate students (36 males) were monitored while viewing photographs of men and women identified as a potential mate or a potential friend. Results showed that people looked at the head and chest more when assessing potential mates and looked at the legs and feet more when assessing potential friends. Single people looked at the photographs longer and more frequently than coupled people, especially when evaluating potential mates. In addition, eye gaze was a valid indicator of relationship interest. For women, looking at the head corresponded to greater interest in friendship, whereas for men looking at the head corresponded to less interest in friendship. These findings show that relational goals and gender may affect the way people scan their environment and search for relevant information in line with their goals.
KeywordsMating Friendship Eye-tracking Chest Waist-to-hip ratio Attraction
- Ekman, P. (1978). Facial signs: Facts, fantasies, and possibilities. In T. Sebeok (Ed.), Sight, sound and sense (pp. 124–156). Bloomington: Indiana University Press.Google Scholar
- Fantz, R. L. (1965). Visual perception from birth as shown by pattern selectivity. Annals of the New York Academy of Sciences, 188, 793–814.Google Scholar
- Simpson, J. A., & Harris, B. A. (1994). Interpersonal attraction. In A. L. Weber & J. H. Harvey (Eds.), Perspectives on close relationships (pp. 45–66). Boston, MA: Allyn and Bacon.Google Scholar