What are You Looking At? ‘Virtual’ Communication in the Age of Social Distancing

When discussions occur face-to-face, people know where their conversational partner is looking and vice versa. With “virtual” communication due to COVID-19 and the expansive use of mobile and video devices, now more than ever, it’s important to understand how these technologies impact communication. Where do people focus their attention? The eyes, mouth, the whole face? And how do they encode conversation? A first-of-its-kind study set out to determine whether being observed affects people’s behavior during online communication.

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