Take the 2-minute tour ×
Cognitive Sciences Stack Exchange is a question and answer site for practitioners, researchers, and students in cognitive science, psychology, neuroscience, and psychiatry. It's 100% free, no registration required.

I haven't met a person who wouldn't at least glance at a camera's lens from time to time when they're aware it's capturing an image or a video of them.

Usually creatures transmit a lot of information through their eyes and face, so it's natural for us to look at someone's eyes, but when we know cameras don't work like that, why do we still keep looking at them?

share|improve this question

put on hold as primarily opinion-based by Krysta, Jeff, Arnon Weinberg, Steven Jeuris Dec 17 at 15:13

Many good questions generate some degree of opinion based on expert experience, but answers to this question will tend to be almost entirely based on opinions, rather than facts, references, or specific expertise.If this question can be reworded to fit the rules in the help center, please edit the question.

2  
I would say it is just that we feel being watched by it, and when something watches us, we feel more confortable looking it in the eyes (or lens). I know there is some research on this topic done with robots (which also only look through cameras), I just can't remember more details. Of course, a robot is more than just plain camera, but I think it is the same matter. We see faces in everything and we see observers in cameras, because it is important for us to not miss them. Who knows what they are up to :) –  Oriesok Vlassky Dec 19 '13 at 9:07
    
For what it's worth I often take photographs of animals, specifically birds. I have noticed the same behavior. They seem to understand that the camera lens is like a giant eye and will consistently look at it/ keep watching it. It's likely that it's foreign to them and they feel threatened by it but they act differently towards a lens than any other object I have seen them react to... –  Josh Gitlin Dec 19 '13 at 13:56
2  
From Yotsuba& I've learned that birds will treat almost every eye-looking object as a whole, potentially dangerous, creature. Not sure why it works with people, who do understand that it's just a piece of technology. Maybe some threatening feeling of a bad angle shot has its effect? –  user1306322 Dec 19 '13 at 15:16
    
Ive read about autistic girl being model with notice the good thing were she didn't automatically stare into lens, so it could be the same mechanism that makes us looking in people's eyes. –  РСТȢѸФХѾЦЧШЩЪЫЬѢѤЮѦѪѨѬѠѺѮѰѲѴ Dec 25 '13 at 15:14
1  
Nonetheless, the poster should do at least a minimum of research before expressing an opinion and/or asking a question that is likely to invite opinion, so as to narrow down the type of research they are after. –  Arnon Weinberg Dec 13 at 21:09