Social gaze orientation influences decision making

Abstract

Richardson, Spivey and Hoover (2009) observed that attending to one of two choices in a decision making task increases the likelihood of that response by ten percent. Reflexive gaze orientation, attending to the same area as others, has also been shown to influence reaction times on simple dual choice tasks. The current study addressed how the eye gaze direction of a highly simplified face influences decisions made regarding questions with no obvious answer. Observed results indicate that the appearance of eyes looking toward one answer over another significantly impacts the decision making process. Similar to past work on the impact of social stimuli on orienting, we show that social stimuli can also impact decision making under uncertainty.


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