The Psychology of First Impressions


How long does it take to make a first impression on others? A couple of seconds?

Well, you’re right. Research has shown that people make first impressions about others in just a tenth of a second. But what exactly do they draw from?

The Psychology of First Impressions

It’s not as trivial as you might think. The psychology of first impressions is surprisingly adaptive and intelligently selective.

Without going into detail, you might find it useful to know how many people are actually affected by these singular instances of being noticed. Read on to find out more.

How Long Does It Take to Make a First Impression?

People generally form first impressions very quickly—within seconds of meeting someone new. And, first impressions are made on an unconscious level, which means that we’re not even aware of what we’re basing our judgments on. Once formed, first impressions are difficult to change.

How Our First Impressions Are Formed

So, what goes into a first impression? It turns out, a lot more than just what the person looks like. We take in everything from their body language to their tone of voice to the way they smell. And, all of this information is processed by our brains to form a gut feeling about the person.

Interestingly, first impressions are surprisingly accurate. So, if you want to make a good first impression, it’s important to be aware of the signals you’re sending out. Wear a smile, make visual contact, and be yourself.

The Psychology Behind Why We Form Certain First Impressions

Our brain is hardwired to make snap judgments in order to keep us safe and decide if this person is safe or not. Therefore, we pay attention to things like their appearance, body language, and the way they speak.

Our brain is also influenced by our own biases, experiences, and beliefs when we form first impressions. We cannot deny the importance of first impressions because they can affect how we interact with and think about someone for a long time.

How First Impressions Can Impact Our Interactions With Others

We use these initial judgments to guide our subsequent actions and interactions with that person. Studies have shown that first impressions are often quite accurate and lasting, so it is important to be aware of the messages we are conveying through our nonverbal cues.

The way we dress, the way we carry ourselves, and the expressions on our faces can all influence the first impression we make on others. Paying attention to these details can help us ensure that we are putting our best foot forward and making the positive impression we desire.

How to Make a Great First Impression

  1. Smiling and making eye contact will make you appear more friendly and approachable.
  2. Pay attention to your body language. Stand up straight, uncross your arms, and avoid fidgeting.
  3. Listen. Show that you’re interested in what the other person has to say by making eye contact and asking follow-up questions.
  4. Be yourself. People can usually tell when you’re being fake, and it’s not a good way to start a relationship.

You can start making a great first impression online and on a personal level by having professional corporate headshots.

Make a Good One

How long does it take to make a first impression? Mere moments. Initial interactions are important because they provide information that people use to form impressions. Although people have a tendency to put too much stock in first impressions, it is still important to make sure that you make a good one.

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