Wired For Sound: The Secrets of Auditory Eye Movements & Behaviors 1

By Chris Simmons

Recalling a sound-centric event triggers one of two involuntary behavioral cues known as auditory eye movements. If the individual’s eyes go down and to their left, they are remembering what they heard. If, however, they are trying to remember what they said to someone or thought (i.e., an “internal sound”), their eyes will remain level as they look to their left.

The “Communication Paradox:” How Little You Know About Life’s Most Important Skill noted how the five senses are rooted in our everyday vocabulary. For example, someone might say: “How would it sound if I told you we need to send you to Miami for two weeks? Would that be music to your ears?” He/she is clearly speaking from an auditory perspective. Thus, when asking someone for an auditory recollection, use hearing-associated words to enhance the speed and effectiveness of their memory. This also keeps you on the same “verbal highway,” reducing the risk of miscommunication.

In contrast, auditory construction (i.e., lying) is revealed when an individual’s eyes move to their right in response to an asked or anticipated question. Remember, deceptive cues manifest in a series of “behavioral tells,” so be prepared for other common signs of deceit such as changes in their narrative’s level of detail, the introduction of qualifying phrases or hedges, etc.

Additionally, a deceptive person with an auditory speech preference will often refer to previous conversations in their responses (e.g., “As I’ve told you before…”). This is a psychological form of stress relief, emotional distancing and feigned cooperation because even if he/she lied during the cited conversation, their current statement is – in fact – true. As a result, the liar is calmer and may exhibit few (if any) signs of deception because their focus is the fact that the referenced conversation occurred, not the event in question.

One comment

  1. Eye movements do signal processing of information. I have two must useful.

    The first: When someone is looking straight ahead and seems not to be focusing, actually they are usually deep in one thought or another. Kids often get yelled at for not paying attention to an adult when exhibiting this type of eye movement. The more helpful response is to stop talking and wait until the person refocuses and then ask what was going on.

    The seconf: Widening of the irises is a sign of interest and has been used by salesmen.for centuries to help make sales.

    Most of this comes from Neuro Linguestic Program (NLP) people; and while helpful is not research validated.

    Other bits of information: NLP is a more scientific name for hypnotism and much of what they teach started with the hypnotists. The Forum and Landmark make use of many NLP tools as well as group hypnotism. Any one who tells you to visualize or close your eyes is also using hypnotism. Finally, meditation is a form of self-hypnotism. I think all are useful, but also think people need to be aware of the hypnotic aspects and to guard themselves a bit. No one can hypnotize you into doing something you are dead set against doing, but can make you cackle like a chicken when a part of you wants the hypnotist’s approval.

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