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  1. #1
    Junior Member Cyanne's Avatar
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    Cool How does eye movement (during conversation) correlate to N vs S preferences?

    I remember watching a short video online of a man who shared an interesting theory. It was a long time ago and I can't find it... so sorry I can't link you to it.

    He explained that one difference in external behavior between N people (Intuitives) and S people (Sensors) is their eye movement:

    -- In conversation, those with S preferences tend to look straight at you or don't move their eyes around that much; they're more in tune with their external senses and focus their vision as well as their thoughts in a more straightforward way.

    -- On the other hand, he said those with N preferences tend to shift their eyes around a lot while they talk. He said that this frequent eye movement exhibits all the mental connections that the N person is making, as if the eyes are searching through the brain over and over during the conversation.


    I thought this was a cool idea. Speaking from personal experience, the Sensors that I know totally do that! And as an N person myself (INTP), I move my eyes around a LOT. When I speak to a Sensor it has made me feel weird sometimes at the direct way they look into my eyes, not just because I'm introverted, but this theory really makes me wonder. My eye contact is consistently on and off, mostly off and wandering everywhere as I'm thinking, then on again to maintain social etiquette. I didn't really think of it consciously until I came across this video, and also someone I know has commented to me about how I move my eyes around so much when I talk.

    Certainly this is just a theory and your eye contact is contingent on the situation. If I am talking to someone, the main reason I often look away as I figure out my words is because it helps me concentrate. Of course everyone does that, but maybe Sensors have LESS eye movement overall and Intuitives MORE?

    Eye contact is influenced by level of comfort or uncertainty, but let's speculate on how typology could play into it. This information could contribute to our knowledge about behavioral nuances according to type.


    What do you think about this? Can you relate?

  2. #2
    Member ultimawepun's Avatar
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    Well, I'm an N, and I look straight at people's eyes in conversation. I did have the habit of looking everywhere, but I heard looking directly to someone's eyes gives an impression of confidence and authority, and I try to build that kind of image so...

  3. #3
    Honor Thy Inferior Such Irony's Avatar
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    I tend to move my eyes around a lot in conversation
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  4. #4
    Senior Member Eckhart's Avatar
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    I have a hard time looking at a person straight usually, but I always attributed that to shyness. I will rather look somewhere else, probably moving around too.

  5. #5
    insert random title here Randomnity's Avatar
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    I thought about it as the thread was loading so reading the OP didn't chnage my mind.

    I'm constantly moving my eyes around and only sometimes remember to look at the person talking, to the extent that it's probably rude. I doubt it's "evidence of mental activity" (), for me it's more that I get uncomfortable and can't concentrate with direct eye contact. I would rather look at something neutral. I also get distracted a lot by things moving or seeing interesting things.

    I really thought the OP would say the opposite of what it did, as in Ss are in theory more attuned to the environment so they're constantly looking around at the environment.
    -end of thread-

  6. #6
    triple nerd score poppy's Avatar
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    Is Se vs Si a factor?

    It's a pretty interesting theory. On a personal level I suspect the amount of focused eye contact I make varies a lot depending on how comfortable and interested I feel.
    "There's no need to be embarrassed about it, Mr. Spock. It happens to the birds and the bees!"

  7. #7
    Blah Orangey's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Randomnity View Post
    I thought about it as the thread was loading so reading the OP didn't chnage my mind.

    I'm constantly moving my eyes around and only sometimes remember to look at the person talking, to the extent that it's probably rude. I doubt it's "evidence of mental activity" (), for me it's more that I get uncomfortable and can't concentrate with direct eye contact. I would rather look at something neutral. I also get distracted a lot by things moving or seeing interesting things.

    I really thought the OP would say the opposite of what it did, as in Ss are in theory more attuned to the environment so they're constantly looking around at the environment.
    Yeah, exactly. I move my eyes around a lot because I get distracted looking at things.
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  8. #8
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    Interesting... I don't get distracted looking at things. I don't actually notice what it is I'm looking at, just that it isn't the other person's eyes. I move my eyes a lot because I can't think and make eye contact at the same time. And I need to think before blurting things out.
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  9. #9
    Junior Member To-A-T's Avatar
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    It definitely depends on the topic and person. I shift my eyes only when the topic is particularly hard (I'll start staring at the wall or some other object) or if I'm slightly embarrassed. However, in normal conversation I look directly at people. At least their face. Sometimes I will shift away from their eyes simply because I am afraid of making them uncomfortable haha.

    Edit- I think eye contact is a good thing. For me, it's a type of personal connection. Not saying that if you don't have it that it's bad. I had to kind of teach myself when I started in the interviewing world for school stuff early high school and I guess it just kind of flowed over into my natural habits.
    Last edited by To-A-T; 03-01-2011 at 05:36 AM.

  10. #10
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    I believe this is the video you're referring to:

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=kEa7vtXrNQQ

    Long story short, he has no idea what he's talking about. Eye movement does *not* correlate to whether or not your "type" has N or S in it.

    For more info, the video was discussed on the INFJs forum: http://forums.infjs.com/showthread.php?t=15539

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