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Eye Contact Increases Feelings of Connection

by Shirley Archer, JD, MA on Aug 23, 2012

Mind-Body-Spirit News

As a fitness professional, do you make eye contact with each of your class members? Humans, like other social beings, have an important need to feel they are part of a group—and a recent study conducted at Purdue University in West Lafayette, Indiana, found that something as simple as eye contact (as opposed to being ignored) can make people feel more connected.

The study observed the effect of eye contact—or the lack of it—coming from strangers “just walking by.” “Them looking at you or giving you the air gaze—looking through you—seemed to have at least momentary effect,” noted Eric D. Wesselmann, of Purdue University, co-author of the study.

The findings were published in Psychological Science (2012; 23 [2], 166–68).

Fitness Journal, Volume 9, Issue 9

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© 2012 by IDEA Health & Fitness Inc. All rights reserved. Reproduction without permission is strictly prohibited.

About the Author

Shirley Archer, JD, MA

Shirley Archer, JD, MA IDEA Author/Presenter

Shirley Archer, JD, MA, was the 2008 IDEA Fitness Instructor of the Year and is IDEA's mind-body-spirit spokesperson. She is a certified yoga and Pilates teacher and an award-winning author based in Los Angeles, California, and Zurich, Switzerland. Two of her books, The Walking Deck and The Strength and Toning Deck, are now featured as iPhone apps. Contact her at