First impression psychology

By M.Farouk Radwan, MSc.

first impression psychology

Many people feel really bad when someone judges them incorrectly based on the first impression. As a result Some of those people might believe that they are unattractive while others might reinforce this idea if it was already present.

According to the psychology of first impression many other factors affect the way people judge you apart from your looks. This means that someone could judge you incorrectly because of a factor that is not by any means related to you!!

If someone ever judged you in a bad way based on the first impression then learning about the first impression psychology will help you feel better.

The first impression psychology explained

The following are some factors that can determine how others form the first impression of you:

  • Social exchange theory: The social exchange theory states that people put their own interests first when attempting to judge someone. This means that a financially insecure woman will certainly give a higher value to a rich man during the first impression because that man suits her interests. This also matches the way people form first impression when described from the perspective of individual psychology. Individual psychology states that people form first impression of others by guessing how can those people help them meet their psychological goals (see first impression and individual psychology)
  • How you made them feel?: People associate the emotions they felt in your presence with your personality. This means that if you made someone feel uneasy during your first meeting he might form a bad first impression of you. For example if you are shy and so you don't talk often then you met someone with low self esteem he might feel uneasy around you because of assuming that you are arrogant and then form the impression that you are annoying!! See how can a bad first impression be formed with disregard to your looks?
  • When you met them?: The setup of the meeting can greatly affect the first impression someone forms of you. If someone just had a big fight with someone who shares some facial features with you then he might form a bad impression of you just because the fight was still fresh in his mind. On the other hand if you had a bad day and as a result you didn't manage to keep a smile on your face then people might judge you badly thinking that you are a boring person just because you didn't manage to smile. In the Solid Self confidence program i explained how in many cases rejections and the bad impressions people form of you can sometimes be the result of perception problems rather than a problem with you!!
  • The halo Effect: People make another mistake when forming the first impression of others. They assume that people who look more attractive have many other good qualities while that might be completely wrong in some cases. If you are not fortunate enough to match the beauty standards your culture has imposed on people then you might be judged incorrectly. The funny things is that these standards change from time to time and this means that you can't blame your looks for it!! (see Attractiveness and culture)

Psychology of Changing the first impression

The good news is that the first impression can be changed in seconds. Researchers have found out that once your personality traits start to show up people correct the mistakes they did when forming the first impression of you.

It was found that after people get to know each other well they find interesting people more attractive than those with bad personality traits.

This means that our perception of looks can change once we know more about the person. So if someone tried to convince you that first impression last forever just tell him that according to psychology it doesn't.

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