Eye contact occurs when “two people look at each other’s eyes at the same time.”
Eye contact is a form of nonverbal communication and is thought to have a large influence on social behavior. Coined in the early to mid‐1960s, the term has come in the West to often define the act as a meaningful and important sign of confidence and social communication. The study of eye contact is sometimes known as oculesics.
Eye contact and facial expressions provide important social and emotional information. People, perhaps without consciously doing so, probe each other’s eyes and faces for positive or negative mood signs. In some contexts, the meeting of eyes arouses strong emotions.
Eye contact is also an important element in flirting, where it may serve to establish and gauge the other’s interest in some situations.