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Psychol Sci. 2014 Sep;25(9):1748-56. doi: 10.1177/0956797614539706. Epub 2014 Jul 16.

Love is in the gaze: an eye-tracking study of love and sexual desire.

Author information

  • 1Department of Psychology, University of Geneva.
  • 2Department of Psychology, University of Chicago High-Performance Electrical NeuroImaging (HPEN) Laboratory, Center for Cognitive and Social Neuroscience, University of Chicago Department of Psychiatry and Behavioral Neuroscience, University of Chicago.
  • 3High-Performance Electrical NeuroImaging (HPEN) Laboratory, Center for Cognitive and Social Neuroscience, University of Chicago Department of Psychiatry and Behavioral Neuroscience, University of Chicago cacioppos@uchicago.edu.

Abstract

Reading other people's eyes is a valuable skill during interpersonal interaction. Although a number of studies have investigated visual patterns in relation to the perceiver's interest, intentions, and goals, little is known about eye gaze when it comes to differentiating intentions to love from intentions to lust (sexual desire). To address this question, we conducted two experiments: one testing whether the visual pattern related to the perception of love differs from that related to lust and one testing whether the visual pattern related to the expression of love differs from that related to lust. Our results show that a person's eye gaze shifts as a function of his or her goal (love vs. lust) when looking at a visual stimulus. Such identification of distinct visual patterns for love and lust could have theoretical and clinical importance in couples therapy when these two phenomena are difficult to disentangle from one another on the basis of patients' self-reports.

© The Author(s) 2014.

KEYWORDS:

eye tracking; intentions; interpersonal relationships; love; open data; open materials; sexual desire; social neuroscience

PMID:
25031302
[PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]
PMCID:
PMC4273641
Free PMC Article
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