Subliminal gaze cues increase preference levels for items in the gaze direction

Cognition and Emotion 32 (5):1146-1151 (2017)

Abstract
ABSTRACTAnother individual’s gaze automatically shifts an observer’s attention to a location. This reflexive response occurs even when the gaze is presented subliminally over a short period. Another’s gaze also increases the preference level for items in the gaze direction; however, it was previously unclear if this effect occurs when the gaze is presented subliminally. This study showed that the preference levels for nonsense figures looked at by a subliminal gaze were significantly greater than those for items that were subliminally looked away from. Targets that were looked at by a subliminal gaze were detected faster ; however, the participants were unable to detect the gaze direction. These results indicate that another individual’s gaze automatically increases the preference levels for items in the gaze direction without conscious awareness.
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DOI 10.1080/02699931.2017.1371002
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