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Follow my eyes: the gaze of politicians reflexively captures the gaze of ingroup voters.

Liuzza, MT and Cazzato, V and Vecchione, M and Crostella, F and Caprara, GV and Aglioti, SM (2011) Follow my eyes: the gaze of politicians reflexively captures the gaze of ingroup voters. PLoS One, 6 (9). ISSN 1932-6203

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Abstract

Studies in human and non-human primates indicate that basic socio-cognitive operations are inherently linked to the power of gaze in capturing reflexively the attention of an observer. Although monkey studies indicate that the automatic tendency to follow the gaze of a conspecific is modulated by the leader-follower social status, evidence for such effects in humans is meager. Here, we used a gaze following paradigm where the directional gaze of right- or left-wing Italian political characters could influence the oculomotor behavior of ingroup or outgroup voters. We show that the gaze of Berlusconi, the right-wing leader currently dominating the Italian political landscape, potentiates and inhibits gaze following behavior in ingroup and outgroup voters, respectively. Importantly, the higher the perceived similarity in personality traits between voters and Berlusconi, the stronger the gaze interference effect. Thus, higher-order social variables such as political leadership and affiliation prepotently affect reflexive shifts of attention.

Item Type: Article
Uncontrolled Keywords: MD Multidisciplinary
Subjects: B Philosophy. Psychology. Religion > BF Psychology
R Medicine > RC Internal medicine > RC0321 Neuroscience. Biological psychiatry. Neuropsychiatry
Divisions: Natural Sciences and Psychology
Publisher: Public Library of Science
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Date Deposited: 07 Mar 2016 15:16
Last Modified: 07 Mar 2016 15:16
DOI or Identification number: 10.1371/journal.pone.0025117
URI: http://researchonline.ljmu.ac.uk/id/eprint/3094

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