Self-esteem can be affected by nonverbal cues from one’s peers, which can positively or negatively impact someone. Eye gaze is a particular nonverbal cue that affects self-esteem through either direct or indirect gaze. For my study, I hypothesized that those who were exposed to the averted eye gaze of individuals would experience lower self-esteem than those who were exposed to the direct eye contact of individuals. I also explored whether or not different ages would change in self-esteem. For this, I believed that participants who were exposed to young adults with averted eye gaze would have a lower self-esteem than those who were exposed to older adults with averted eye gaze. In order to test my predictions, participants viewed four pictures that exhibited either young adult faces with direct eye contact or averted eye gaze, or older adult faces with direct eye contact or indirect eye contact. Results showed that self-esteem for those who viewed faces displaying averted gaze was significantly lower than for those who viewed faces with direct gaze. Additionally, there was a significant difference in self-esteem between the young adult faces with averted gaze versus old adult faces with averted eye gaze. Results from this study can be applied to real world situations.
Faculty Mentor Name
The Undergraduate Faculty Mentored Academic Grant