The influence of dyadic gaze dynamics on joint and individual decisions

Invited talk by dr Bert Timmermans, The School of Psychology, University of Aberdeen

How do interpersonal behavioural dynamics predict individual and joint decisions? Recent interactionist views on social cognition suggest that the most under-studied and important aspect of social cognition may be interaction dynamics. However, it has hitherto proven extremely difficult to devise a controlled setup in which social cues, such as eye gaze, are subject to unconstrained interaction.

To address these issues, we use a dual interactive eye-tracking paradigm. Participants are presented with the face of an anthropomorphic avatar, the eye movements of which are linked in real-time to another participant’s eye-gaze. This allows for control of interaction aspects that are not related to the experience of gaze contingency.

Participants have to choose which one out of two spheres on either side of the avatar face is the largest. These spheres can have a medium, small, and no difference. Specifically in the intermediate condition, gaze dynamics guide choices. Using cross-recurrence quantification, we analyse the time course of the gaze interactions and look at how this predicts individual and joint decisions about sphere size, which participant will follow the other.

The talk will take place on Wednesday at 3.00 p.m. in room 0.01, Ingardena 6.