Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations

Armed and attentive: The face is the focus for a person wielding a gun

Date:
October 1, 2013
Source:
University of Notre Dame
Summary:
A person wielding a gun focuses more intently on the face of an opponent with a gun, presumably to try to determine that person's likelihood of pulling the trigger, according to a new study on gun-in-hand research.

A person wielding a gun focuses more intently on the face of an opponent with a gun, presumably to try to determine that person's likelihood of pulling the trigger, according to a new study that builds on gun-in-hand research from the University of Notre Dame.

Notre Dame Associate Professor of Psychology James Brockmole, who specializes in human cognition and how the visual world guides behavior, conducted the research at Notre Dame with Adam Biggs, currently a post-doctoral fellow in the Duke Institute for Brain Sciences and the Center for Cognitive Neuroscience, and Jessica Witt, associate professor of cognitive psychology at Colorado State University.

Building on the team's previous research that shows holding a gun increases a person's inclination to see guns in the hands of others, "Armed and Attentive: Holding a weapon can bias attentional priorities in scene viewing" is forthcoming in Attention, Perception & Psychophysics.

In three experiments, participants were shown scenes in which an actor was holding a gun or a neutral object, such as a beverage or remote control. The researchers recorded eye movements as participants observed each scene while they were either unarmed, holding a firearm, or wearing a holstered firearm.

The armed observers paid more attention to faces than objects when their guns were in a readily usable position-- not when they were holstered.

"After ruling out several other possible explanations, we believe this occurs because an armed observer must decide if and when to use his or her firearm," Brockmole says. "Facial expressions can be strong indicators of behavioral intentions."

Past research, referred to as the weapon focus effect, has shown that if a criminal is armed, an unarmed victim focuses more on the weapon.

"What's interesting," Brockmole says, "is that our new 'armed bias to look at faces' findings essentially canceled out the weapon focus effect observed with the unarmed participants. In other words, someone who is armed spent as much time looking at the face of another armed person as two unarmed subjects looking at one another."


Story Source:

The above story is based on materials provided by University of Notre Dame. Note: Materials may be edited for content and length.


Cite This Page:

University of Notre Dame. "Armed and attentive: The face is the focus for a person wielding a gun." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 1 October 2013. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2013/10/131001151136.htm>.
University of Notre Dame. (2013, October 1). Armed and attentive: The face is the focus for a person wielding a gun. ScienceDaily. Retrieved October 21, 2014 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2013/10/131001151136.htm
University of Notre Dame. "Armed and attentive: The face is the focus for a person wielding a gun." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2013/10/131001151136.htm (accessed October 21, 2014).

Share This



More Science & Society News

Tuesday, October 21, 2014

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

CDC Revamps Ebola Guidelines After Criticism

CDC Revamps Ebola Guidelines After Criticism

Newsy (Oct. 21, 2014) The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention have issued new protocols for healthcare workers interacting with Ebola patients. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
Robots to Fly Planes Where Humans Can't

Robots to Fly Planes Where Humans Can't

Reuters - Innovations Video Online (Oct. 21, 2014) Researchers in South Korea are developing a robotic pilot that could potentially replace humans in the cockpit. Unlike drones and autopilot programs which are configured for specific aircraft, the robots' humanoid design will allow it to fly any type of plane with no additional sensors. Ben Gruber reports. Video provided by Reuters
Powered by NewsLook.com
WHO: Ebola Vaccine Trials to Start a in January

WHO: Ebola Vaccine Trials to Start a in January

AP (Oct. 21, 2014) Tens of thousands of doses of experimental Ebola vaccines could be available for "real-world" testing in West Africa as soon as January as long as they are deemed safe in soon to start trials, the World Health Organization said Tuesday. (Oct. 21) Video provided by AP
Powered by NewsLook.com
'Cadaver Dog' Sniffs out Human Remains

'Cadaver Dog' Sniffs out Human Remains

AP (Oct. 21, 2014) Where's a body buried? Buster's nose can often tell you. He's a cadaver dog, specially trained to find human remains and increasingly being used by law enforcement and accepted in courts. These dogs are helping solve even decades-old mysteries. (Oct. 21) Video provided by AP
Powered by NewsLook.com

Search ScienceDaily

Number of stories in archives: 140,361

Find with keyword(s):
Enter a keyword or phrase to search ScienceDaily for related topics and research stories.

Save/Print:
Share:

Breaking News:

Strange & Offbeat Stories


Science & Society

Business & Industry

Education & Learning

In Other News

... from NewsDaily.com

Science News

Health News

Environment News

Technology News



Save/Print:
Share:

Free Subscriptions


Get the latest science news with ScienceDaily's free email newsletters, updated daily and weekly. Or view hourly updated newsfeeds in your RSS reader:

Get Social & Mobile


Keep up to date with the latest news from ScienceDaily via social networks and mobile apps:

Have Feedback?


Tell us what you think of ScienceDaily -- we welcome both positive and negative comments. Have any problems using the site? Questions?
Mobile: iPhone Android Web
Follow: Facebook Twitter Google+
Subscribe: RSS Feeds Email Newsletters
Latest Headlines Health & Medicine Mind & Brain Space & Time Matter & Energy Computers & Math Plants & Animals Earth & Climate Fossils & Ruins