A study from Tampere University in Finland showed why it is important to have video calls while isolating. According to the study’s press release, eye contact during video calls have the same psychophysiological response as those in genuine, in-person eye contact.
The research conducted compared the reactions caused by seeing another person’s gaze in three situations: in-person interaction, a video call, and just watching a video. The researchers measured the participants’ skin conductance and activation of facial muscles in these different situations.
With this, the study found out that in-person contact creates a heightened autonomic response. This same response was also seen in bidirectional video calls. But when the person is only watching a video, it didn’t create the same heightened response as the others.
Nonetheless, all these three situations show that they all create the same positive response in the participants. Direct gaze was found to induce facial reactions associated with positive emotion in all three situations.
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