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The ability to maintain eye contact while speaking is a difficult skill for many people to master. Because of the importance of nonverbal communication skills in everyday life, it is prudent to examine the reasons for this difficulty. The hypothesis of this study is that the more a person has to think about what they are trying to say while speaking, the harder it will be for them to maintain eye contact. This study makes use of eye-tracking technology to accurately measure where the participants’ eyes are looking on a computer screen. Participants are asked to read and summarize a series of texts to a face on the computer screen, with the eye-tracker recording where they look while doing so. The goal of the study is to find a link between cognitive effort and eye contact, and in doing so help explain why so many people have difficulty with this skill.
Wilkins, Stephen, "Why Eye Contact is So Hard" (2022). Neuroscience Summer Fellows. 24.
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