Visual Behavior as an Aspect of Power Role Relationships

  • Ralph V. Exline
  • Steve L. Ellyson
  • Barbara Long
Part of the Advances in the Study of Communication and Affect book series (ASCA, volume 2)


There is an intriguing paradox inherent in the shared glance. On the one hand, there is the suggestion that willingness to engage in mutual glances is a means of establishing union with another (Simmel, 1969) — a suggestion which is supported by empirical evidence that affiliative motives (Exline, 1963) and loving relationships (Rubin, 1970) are characterized by relatively greater amounts of mutual looks than are their opposites. On the other hand, there is the suggestion, also backed with empirical evidence, that a mutual glance elicits threat displays between subhuman primates (Hinde and Rowell, 1962; Hall and Devore, 1965; Jay, 1965), that the fixed glance of one human is associated with another’s accelerated movement away (Ellsworth, Carlsmith, & Henson, 1972), and that, in specified circumstances, the one who first breaks off a mutual glance is socially subordinate (Edelman, Omark, & Freedman, 1971), while one who looks steadily at another in silence is perceived to be more dominant than one who looks briefly (Thayer, 1969).


Visual Attention Control Orientation Summer Camp Power Position Power Role 
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Copyright information

© Plenum Press, New York 1975

Authors and Affiliations

  • Ralph V. Exline
    • 1
  • Steve L. Ellyson
    • 1
  • Barbara Long
    • 2
  1. 1.University of DelawareNewarkUSA
  2. 2.Goucher CollegeTowsonUSA

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