Keep eyes shut, ears open to perceive others’ emotions
New York: Do you want to feel empathetic towards others feelings? Paying attention by listening with your eyes closed may help, researchers say.
The study stated that while listening one must keep the ears open and eyes shut because facial expression can mask emotions.
Moreover, engaging in two different tasks of watching and listening simultaneously may confuse the listener and hurt the performance of both the tasks, the researchers noted.
“Perhaps people are paying too much attention to the face, while the voice might have much of the content necessary to perceive others’ internal states accurately,” said Michael Kraus, Professor at the Yale University in Connecticut, US.
“The findings suggest that we should be focusing more on studying vocalisations of emotion,” Kraus added.
For the study, published in the journal American Psychologist, the researchers studied over 1,800 participants with five set of series with experiments, whereby individuals were asked either to interact with another person or were presented with an interaction between two others.
In some cases, participants were only able to listen and not look; in others, they were able to look but not listen; and some participants were allowed to both look and listen.
The results revealed that individuals who only listened without observing were able to identify the emotions being experienced by others more accurately.