Reading Eyes (11-09-21)

Trainin and Yeshurun researched communication during the COVID-19 pandemic.  They report that “we tested the hypothesis that experience in looking in interlocutor’s eyes (as a result of mask-wearing) will be correlated with enhanced performance on ‘reading the mind in the eyes test’ (RMET). . . . We found that reported tendency to look at interlocutors' eyes, combined with experience in interacting with other people wearing masks, explained individual differences in RMET performance. Moreover, we found that individual’s tendency to look at interlocutors' eyes was correlated with change in performance in reading the mind in the eyes over this month. These results suggest that in addition to individual’s interest and motivation in understanding other’s mental state, continuous everyday experiences can result in an improved capacity for reading mental and emotional states by looking into individuals' eyes.”

Nitzan Trainin and Yaara Yeshurun.  “Reading the Mind with a Mask?  Improvement in Reading the Mind in the Eyes During the COVID-19 Pandemic”  Emotion, in press,