Confident to Creeper: How Much Eye Contact is too Much?

Most of us have been told the importance of eye contact more times than we can count–from job interviews to public speaking, it is one of the fundamental tactics cited for building rapport and conveying confidence. Inherently, most of us also know that there is a fine line between confidence and full-on “creeper mode.” So just how much eye contact is too much? Researchers have found that the answer depends on two factors: (1) whether the person receiving the eye contact is introverted or extroverted; and (2) whether the person providing the eye contact appears trustworthy or threatening.  As you might expect, extroverts receiving eye contact from apparently trustworthy individuals tolerated the longest gazes while introverts receiving eye contact from apparently threatening individuals tolerated the shortest gazes. However, despite these variances, researchers concluded that when it comes to eye contact, 3.2 seconds (on average) is the optimum duration (neuroscientifically speaking, of course).

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