First Impressions Are Not Last Impressions

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First Impressions are Not Lasting Impressions When you see a person in a wheelchair, a person with no legs, or a person with physical abnormalities what is you reaction? Do you stare with curiosity? Do you pretend to be indifferent and walk by like there is no person there at all? Are you disgusted or stricken with pity? Or do you see them as a person, just like you, living their life the best they know how? Our perception of people are largely based on their physical appearance and often the thoughts that enter our minds when we see an individual that has a visual disability are negative and cause us to formulate a disapproving impression about their person as a whole. The question lies in what happens with the initial impression.…show more content…
Or if a person is missing a limb, in our minds they are an incomplete person. We may think that they don't have the same things to offer society that a person with that has all four limbs intact has. In the same light, if an individual were to be unable to speak a word or sentence with fluidity due to some dysfunctional neurological function, we assume that they are somehow stupid and they don't have the capacity to formulate a meaningful and intelligent thought, when in reality they may intellectually far surpass the average person. Due to this initial perception that is drawn, a broader conclusion is made about the person as an entire entity that mirrors that initial perception. In essence, a "halo effect" occurs and the person's positive or negative traits seem to "spill over" from one area of their personality to another in others' perceptions of them. "Bodily appearance assumes a major role because the visible appearance of an individual, not the invisible personality, constitutes the main basis of identification." (Chapter 4, Pg 61) But if these initial conclusions remain throughout the relationship, then how might a relationship between two people flourish into greater intimacy, similar to that of the relationships between the woman with cerebral palsy and the man at the party in "Skin Horse"? They answer is that they don't; the initial perceptions of people do not remain once one has gotten to know the person better.

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