The Effects of Eye Gaze Direction on Mood

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dc.contributor.advisor Broadbent, E en Andrews-Smith, Jessica en 2017-03-28T01:20:48Z en 2016 en
dc.identifier.uri en
dc.description Full text is available to authenticated members of The University of Auckland only. en
dc.description.abstract Previous research has shown that there is a bidirectional relationship between upper body posture and affect, cognition and behaviour. In slumped postures, the head is typically tilted downwards with eye gaze direction looking downwards. Preliminary research suggests eye gaze direction may play a role in the relationship between posture, affect, cognition, and behaviour, independent of head-tilt. However, these results need to be replicated before conclusions can be made. This study aimed to further investigate the effects of eye gaze direction (gazing forward or gazing downward) and head position on psychological, behavioural, and physiological states. The study had a two by two, between-within group experimental design. Ninety healthy participants completed baseline self-report measures of mood, emotions, and power before being randomised to either a forward or downward gazing group. Participants held their assigned gaze position while they watched two short socially based, silent, black and white film clips. The participants watched each film either with their head upright or tilted downward in a random order. After watching each film clip, participants completed a speech task about the film, which was employed as a behavioural measure to assess language use with the Linguistic Inquiry and Word Count program. After each film, participants also completed self-report measures of mood, emotions, and power. Eye movements were measured as a physiological measure while participants looked at a still film image and engaged in the speech task. Results showed on the psychological measures that gazing downward was associated with lower overall mood, and greater negative mood. In addition, people in the gazing downward condition reported less high arousal affect and greater levels of low arousal affect, negative affect and high arousal negative affect than the gazing forward group, independent of head-tilt. When gaze direction and head-tilt were congruent participants were found to be higher in low arousal positive affect. Physiologically, lowered eye gaze direction was significantly associated with lower frequency and shorter duration of eye movements towards the periphery of the images than forward gaze. Gaze direction however showed no significant effect on feelings of power, or on the behavioural measure assessing language use during the speech task. Overall, the results suggest that eye gaze direction can influence self-reported affect, mood, and frequency and duration of eye movements, independent of head-tilt. This study confirms prior findings and suggests that eye gaze may play a significant role in the relationship between posture and mood. Future research could extend this current study by investigating more specifically the contexts during which lowered eye gaze negatively influences mood. en
dc.publisher ResearchSpace@Auckland en
dc.relation.ispartof Masters Thesis - University of Auckland en
dc.relation.isreferencedby UoA99264913313902091 en
dc.rights Items in ResearchSpace are protected by copyright, with all rights reserved, unless otherwise indicated. Previously published items are made available in accordance with the copyright policy of the publisher. en
dc.rights Restricted Item. Available to authenticated members of The University of Auckland. en
dc.rights.uri en
dc.title The Effects of Eye Gaze Direction on Mood en
dc.type Thesis en Health Psychology en The University of Auckland en Masters en
dc.rights.holder Copyright: The author en
pubs.elements-id 618891 en
pubs.record-created-at-source-date 2017-03-28 en

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