Dismiss Notice
Join Physics Forums Today!
The friendliest, high quality science and math community on the planet! Everyone who loves science is here!

Dominant eye

  1. Look at their left eye

    5 vote(s)
  2. Look at their right eye

    1 vote(s)
  3. Look at both of their eyes simultaneously

    9 vote(s)
  4. Look at both of their eyes alternately

    3 vote(s)
  5. Avoid looking at their eyes

    6 vote(s)
  1. Jul 9, 2005 #1
    When near another person, how do you meet their eye(s)?
  2. jcsd
  3. Jul 9, 2005 #2


    User Avatar
    Staff Emeritus
    Science Advisor

    It partly depends upon from which side I approach.

    Is it possible to look at both eye simultaneously? My eye tend to focus on a spot, so it would either eye or the bridge of the nose between the eyes.

    During a conversation, I often stare into space because facial details are distracting.
  4. Jul 9, 2005 #3
    I usually don't look at a person, or look at a person's lips when I talk to someone. If just approaching them... Well, I'll scan their face to see who it is and then not really look at them unless I plan to talk to them... or If I'm staring at them it's usually because there's some fixation like a really low top that suddenly got my attention.
  5. Jul 9, 2005 #4
    I would probably say the left eye, but im not sure its probably which ever eye is closest to me.
  6. Jul 9, 2005 #5


    User Avatar

    Staff: Mentor

    I glance at both eyes and then will continue to look into the one that seems to be looking back at me.
    Last edited: Jul 9, 2005
  7. Jul 9, 2005 #6


    User Avatar
    Staff Emeritus
    Science Advisor
    Gold Member

    I don't really know. I mean, I make eye contact, but I never pay any attention to whether it's one or both eyes, and then I don't really like to stare down the person I'm talking to, so shift my gaze from time to time. Sometimes I find myself needing to look at someone's lips to catch everything they are saying; I don't lip read, but in a noisy room or when someone talks too softly, I need to see their lips to fully make out their words. "Eh? Talk into the good ear sonny!"

    So, I don't think I can answer the poll because I think my gaze shifts during the conversation, and I never paid enough attention to be able to answer this.
  8. Jul 9, 2005 #7
    I am like MB here, I have no clue which one, or maybe both, I look at! I will say that I rarely look at someone's lips.
  9. Jul 9, 2005 #8
    the first thing I look at is a persons eyes. I get my first impressions there. its almost like I can sort of read a person from their eyes. after I have initially read a person I avoid eye contact unless it is someone who I have a lot of respect for. if I want to intimidate a person I look them in the eye. I use to make a lot of eye contact but I ended up with a lot of people telling me I am intimidating. this is (Im assuming) because I am very still and can be rather intense. Im a quiet sort of person so no one seems to mind when I just look down. if I want to know if people are lying, or angry, or sad, or anxious I look for it in their eyes.
  10. Jul 9, 2005 #9
    Fileen ^ hit it right on the dot...I look at both eyes.

    "The eyes are the portals to one's soul"

    Something like that anyway...very true.
  11. Jul 9, 2005 #10


    User Avatar
    Staff Emeritus
    Science Advisor

    "Look at both of their eyes simultaneously" - but then one's eyes will not be looking directly at either eye. If I hold my index fingers up with both arms outstretch, I cannot focus on two eyes simultaneously. The best I can do is look between, but not at both eyes. Eventually one's eyes will focus on one of the persons eyes, and then perhaps the other, both one's eyes cannot focus on two eyes simultaneously. That's why I chose both eyes alternatively.

    If I have a technical discussion, most of the time I cannot concentrate on what a person is saying if I focus on the face - it is very distracting. That's just the way my brain is wired - probably something to do with ADD.

    If I am having a social conversation, then that is entirely different and I can look at person eyes. On the other hand, I start analyzing the other's face. :redface:
  12. Jul 9, 2005 #11


    User Avatar
    Staff Emeritus
    Science Advisor
    Gold Member

    I remember an old news story about communication differences between boys/men and girls/women. Boys and men tended to make far less eye contact when talking, while girls and women tended to sit down and talk eye-to-eye. It was explained relevant to talking to children and getting them to open up. They showed that with boys, if you got them engaged in doing something, like playing with a toy car (or the men all standing around the engine of a real car), they'd more readily talk about their day and their feelings and things that were bothering them, while with girls, they responded better if you sat them down at a table without other distractions to have that conversation.

    I actually have always had a hard time listening to seminars because in order to fully process what I'm hearing, I need to look at both the speaker and the data they are talking about, and can't always do that when the speaker is standing too far from the screen (I never used to notice this as a problem back in the days of hand-held pointers that brought speakers right up in front of the screen; I only noticed it when laser pointers came into use and people started standing back further from the screen). So, I think I need to do a little of both, look at the person speaking and look at whatever is being talked about.
  13. Jul 10, 2005 #12


    User Avatar
    Gold Member

    I usually look at both eyes (practically) simultaneously. As for the duration of eye contact, I think it depends on the relationship, the situation, and other body language. Constant eye contact can be creepy, intimidating, open, interested, searching, loving, intimate, and so on. With strangers, I'll usually look at them once in a while just long enough to read their expression or show that I'm paying attention to them. Job interviews are an exception. I got into the habit of maintaining almost constant eye contact while on job interviews. It was kind of awkward at first- trying to be focused and interested instead of creepy or intimidating- but it's comfortable now. With family and friends, I rarely ever look them in the eyes for more than a few seconds during normal conversation; I'll only maintain eye contact if I'm asking a difficult question that I expect their body language to answer. But with a boyfriend or such, constant eye contant, even during normal conversation, can be loving and intimate.
  14. Jul 10, 2005 #13
    Maybe when in love one might see in their partner a compatible "stereogram" (Magic Eye) by a slight unfocusing of both eyes. I. e., we can "read" another's brain visually.
  15. Jul 10, 2005 #14
    Hmm.. interesting thought. Usually when I look into someone's eyes I don't try to unfocus, and there doesn't seem to be a "stereogram" pattern on their faces.

    I never really saw any images on stereograms anyway. Just a big repeating pattern.
  16. Jul 10, 2005 #15


    User Avatar
    Staff Emeritus
    Gold Member
    Dearly Missed

    Had to train myself in my teens to look people in the eye. It was hard and I started by staring at the bridge of their nose, and only after a year or so graduated to the eyes. And yes, since I was forcing myself to do it, I went for both eyes, and still do.
  17. Jul 10, 2005 #16

    I meant that another's retinal image represents a stereogram. :surprised
  18. Jul 10, 2005 #17


    User Avatar
    Staff Emeritus
    Science Advisor
    Gold Member

    I know my right eye is dominant (do a google search for the test). I never really notice which eye I am looking at, only when I'm up close I sometimes notice myself just looking at one, or when someone is crosseyed I get confused which one to look at.
  19. Jul 11, 2005 #18


    User Avatar
    Homework Helper

    I usually do eye contact when greeting someone, but i usually stare into space throught the rest of the conversation, glancing from time to time at their eyes. Now usually if i like a girl, i look her straight into her eyes, and most of the time i try to keep my eyes there, i believe the eye contact will be important in such cases.
Share this great discussion with others via Reddit, Google+, Twitter, or Facebook