Research shows blinking can serve as a non-verbal cue for conversation – women after 40

The experiments showed that the speakers perceived the subtle difference between short and long blinks.

London: People unknowingly perceive winks as non-verbal cues when engaging in a conversation, according to a study.

According to the study, published in the journal PLOS ONE, humans blink about 13,500 times a day — far more often than is needed to lubricate the eyeballs.

Studies have shown that blinking often occurs during natural pauses in conversation.

Researchers at the Max Planck Institute for Psycholinguistics in the Netherlands wondered if a movement as tiny and subtle as a blink could act as conversational feedback, just like a head nod.

To test this idea, the researchers developed a new virtual reality-based experimental setup in which people talk to an avatar that acts as a “virtual listener.”

Volunteers answered questions like “How was your weekend?”. while the researchers controlled the avatar’s nonverbal responses using short and long blinks, each lasting less than a second.

The experiments showed that the speakers perceived the subtle difference between short and long blinks, with longer blinks eliciting significantly shorter responses from the volunteers.

None of the participants reported noticing any variation in the avatar’s blinks, suggesting that the speaker unconsciously picked up on the various cues.

Taken together, the results suggest that even subtle behaviors like blinking can serve as a mode of nonverbal communication that impacts face-to-face communication.

The study also reinforces the idea that a conversation is a collaborative activity in which both the speaker and the listener make contributions.

The discovery could add to our understanding of the origins of how humans signal their mental state, which has evolved into a crucial part of everyday social interactions.

“Our results show that one of the most subtle human movements – the wink – appears to have a surprising effect on the coordination of everyday human interaction,” said Paul Homke of the Max Planck Institute for Psycholinguistics.

https://womenafter40.com/research-shows-blinking-can-act-as-a-nonverbal-cue-for-conversations/ Research shows blinking can serve as a non-verbal cue for conversation – women after 40

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