What is the ‘visual dominance ratio’ in psychology?

  • This refers to a metric used by psychologists to measure a person’s dominance over fellow human beings by gauging her eye contact behaviour during interactions.
  • The visual dominance ratio (VDR) is calculated by dividing the percentage of time a person looks into another person’s eyes while speaking by the percentage of time she looks into the other person’s eyes while listening.
  • It yields higher values when a person holds greater eye contact during speaking than while listening.
  • A high VDR is said to indicate a high degree of dominance while a low VDR is supposed to indicate an attitude of subservience.


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