A Gaze-Induced Inward Bias
 
 
Here are some demonstrations of the various conditions discussed in the following paper:
Chen, Y. -C., Colombatto, C., & Scholl, B. J. (2018). Looking into the future: An inward bias in aesthetic experience driven only by gaze cues. Cognition, 176, 209-214.
The inward bias is an especially powerful principle of aesthetic experience: In framed images (e.g. photographs), we prefer peripheral figures that face inward (vs. outward). Why does this bias exist? Since agents will tend to act in the direction in which they are facing, one intriguing possibility is that the inward bias reflects a preference to view scenes from a perspective that will allow us to witness those predicted future actions. Here we demonstrate a robust inward bias in aesthetic judgment driven by a cue that is socially powerful but visually subtle (and thus unconfounded with factors such as global shape profiles or salient features): averted gaze. Subjects adjusted the positions of people in images to maximize their aesthetic appeal. People with direct gaze were not placed preferentially in any particular regions, but people with averted gaze were reliably placed so that they appeared to be looking inward. This demonstrates that the inward bias can arise due to visually subtle features, when those features signal how future events may unfold.  
 
Sample Trials
Click this link for a webpage that illustrates the different kinds of trials used (between subjects) in this experiment.