ERIC Number: EJ823504
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2008-Nov
Abstractor: As Provided
Reference Count: 0
Tell-Tale Eyes: Children's Attribution of Gaze Aversion as a Lying Cue
Einav, Shiri; Hood, Bruce M.
Developmental Psychology, v44 n6 p1655-1667 Nov 2008
This study examined whether the well-documented adult tendency to perceive gaze aversion as a lying cue is also evident in children. In Experiment 1, 6-year-olds, 9-year-olds, and adults were shown video vignettes of speakers who either maintained or avoided eye contact while answering an interviewer's questions. Participants evaluated whether the speaker was telling the truth or lying on each trial. The results revealed that at both ages, children were more likely to attribute lying to speakers in the gaze aversion condition; however, the effect was significantly greater among 9-year-olds. Significant gender differences were also uncovered, with girls demonstrating strongest sensitivity to the gaze cue. Experiment 2 replicated the gender effect in 6-year-olds but found that when the speakers' verbal responses were removed, boys' use of the gaze cue increased and the gender difference disappeared. These findings indicate that at 6 years old, children interpret interpersonal gaze behavior as a socially informative cue. Furthermore, the growing appreciation of the stereotypic gaze behavior associated with lying and the reputed female advantage in gaze sensitivity may reflect differential processing of multimodal communication.
Descriptors: Stimuli, Nonverbal Communication, Interpersonal Communication, Gender Differences, Eye Movements, Deception, Vignettes, Interviews, Children, Task Analysis, Cues, Cognitive Processes
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Publication Type: Journal Articles; Reports - Research
Education Level: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A