Is duration of eye contact associated with male preference for a female?

From: Perceptual and Motor Skills

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Study Quality:
rating: 25%

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Article Quality:
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  • 100 men (40 for study 1 and 60 for study 2) aged 18 to 26


  • Experiment 1; 20 year old woman entered a bar and made eye contact with a male for either 1 second or 2 to 3 seconds. She then turned away and sat at a nearby table. An independent observer then noted the length of time that the glance was returned from the male participant.
  • Experiment 2 - a female made eye-contact with a male participant for either less than 1 second, 2 seconds or 4 seconds and was asked to record if the male smiled.


  • Experiment 1 – women who held eye-contact for 2-3 seconds received a return glance lasting on average 12.3 seconds. For eye-contact that lasted 1 second, the return glance lasted only 5.9 seconds.
  • Experiment 2 – brief eye-contact was associated with a return smile in 5% of cases, 15% of the time with a 2-second initial eye contact, and 40% for 4 second eye contact.
  • The authors conclude that an increase in the duration of eye contact by the female was associated with greater duration of return eye contact and higher frequency of smiling by male targets.


  • Yes (with confidence)