Most people don’t consider the full significance of eye movement when communicating. For instance, think about a time when you were trying to find an answer in your mind. If you pay attention to your eyes, you’ll notice that you blink many times more during this searching process than you normally do. Some people would claim that you’re simply getting moisture to your eyes or some similar activity. The truth is, you are doing the equivalent to clicking a mouse to find an answer. It’s called a Pattern Interrupt and during this process you are literally making adjustments in your mind to find the answer. “Clicking”, as it were, on different data to retrieve the answer. There are some other interesting things that can happen during a pattern interrupt and feel free to send me a request to learn more about them.
The eyes relay much more information than that, though. They can tell you much about what type of information that is being considered and if a person is remembering the information or making it up as they go along. If you look at the illustration above, you’ll discover the directions and the basic meanings. Here is more information that you’ll find helpful:
Looking up and to your Left = Visually Constructed Images
If you asked someone to think about a “Red Elephant”, their eyes will move up and to your left as they construct a picture of a red elephant in their mind.
Looking up and to your Right = Visually Remembered Images
Ask someone what the color of their previous car was and their eyes will move up and to your right as they remember it.
To your Left = Auditory Constructed
If you asked someone to create the highest sound of pitch possible in their head, their would eyes move straight across and to your left while thinking about the question.
To your Right = Auditory Remembered
Asking someone to remember what their mother’s voice sounds like and their eyes will move straight across and to your right in while thinking about this sound.
Down and to your Left = Kinesthetic
If you ask someone to think about an event that gave them a wonderful feeling, their eyes will move down and to your left while recalling this feeling or state.
Down and to your Right = Internal Dialog
This is the direction of someone’s eyes as they “talk to themselves”.
How can you use this information in meaningful ways? One way is for detecting lies:
Here’s an example: Your teenage child stays out past curfew. When they arrive home, you are still awake and looking for an explanation. Before jumping right into questions about what caused them to be late, ask a a couple of questions that you know they know the answer to. Such as, “You were going to _____ tonight, how was it?” “You said that several of your friends were going, did _____ go with you?” This is called Calibration. You are setting the baseline for their behaviors and eye movement. By doing this in a calm, conversational tone, it also allows them to get settled and let their guard down. Now you’re prepared to ask a question, like, “Where did you go after you went to ______?” or “What caused you to come home after your curfew time?” If they look to up and to your left, this would indicate that they are likely lying as their eyes are showing a “constructed” image or sound. Looking to the right would indicated a “remembered” voice or image, and would most likely be telling the truth. You may have noticed that I used the term “most likely”. There is no such thing as a person, or machine, that is 100% accurate in detecting lies. There is an entire field of study on the subject and even the most seasoned CIA agent gets it wrong once in a while. However, when practiced, you can become up to 80% accurate with this method, along with some additional training.