Look Into My Eyes

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Eye Blink ExperimentAs the
eyes are the window to the soul, psychologists’ fascination with them is no
surprise. In the first of two new studies, cognitive psychologists looked at
whether there was a relationship between neuroticism and where people direct
their visual attention.
The study found that those
higher in neuroticism – essentially pessimists – tend to pay more attention to
the lower part of the visual field. On the other hand those lower in
neuroticism – optimists – paid more attention to the upper part. Now whether
this has anything to do with how people behave in the real world is a hotly
argued point in psychology – here’s a short description of ecological validity.
The final claim of the article
that redirecting attention upwards might raise mood is highly speculative.
Despite this, the BBC news story does the usual media job of generalising to
the point of inanity.
On a more positive note for
BBC News they do have a nice article about how parts of our brains ‘switch off’
when we blink. Researchers claim that this is why we don’t tend to experience a
mini-blackout while blinking. This was investigated by lighting up the eye from
the inside so researchers could differentiate between an eye blink and a dark
scene (see photo above). Clever huh?
the author
Psychologist, Jeremy Dean, PhD
is the founder and author of PsyBlog. He holds a doctorate in psychology from
University College London and two other advanced degrees in psychology.
He has been writing about
scientific research on PsyBlog since 2004. He is also the author of the book
“Making Habits, Breaking Habits” (Da Capo, 2003) and several ebooks.

Kayode Ojo
Kayode Emmanuel Ojo is the Co-Founder and Managing Director at SHEFFA Limited. He is presently studying Computer Science at the National Open University, Victoria Island, Lagos.