First Impressions Essay

3194 WordsJan 30, 200813 Pages
Research suggests that first impressions are created within the first few minutes of meeting someone. Discuss the factors that affect our perception of people and some of the elements that impact our accuracy or otherwise of first impressions, e.g. in an interview situation, first date, etc. People take initial information about appearance, body language, what you say and more importantly how you say it and then form a judgment very quickly as to what type of person you are. First impressions are mainly based on facial features and body language as well as various generalisations and bias which affect the accuracy of those perceptions. From physical appearance to choice in clothing; from religion and race to social class and level…show more content…
This is one of the most important aspects of a positive first impression. A smile is the first thing we subconsciously look for as it shows that the person we are meeting is not a threat to us. According to Paul Ekman, "we can pick up a smile from 30 meters away" (Flora 2004 pg 60). A smile is the single most powerful way to make a person relax their guard and gives a more positive first impression. It shows friendliness, but not all smiles are equal and it is hard to tell the difference between a real smile and a forced smile. The difference lies in which part of the brain is used to create it. When a smile is real the message travels via the amygdala region and then to other areas in the brain which control facial muscles including those around the eyes. This tends to create more lines around the corners of the eyes and makes the eyebrow dip slightly (The human mind 2003). A forced smile takes a more direct root from another area in the brain which then triggers movement but this signal cannot reach as many muscles, especially around the eyes. (Demarais, White & Alderman 2004) Recognising facial features is a remarkable ability we have from the very second we are born. According to (Etcoff, 1999) physical good looks can have a positive effect in terms of first impressions. Physical appearance plays a vital role in people's perceptions of each other. A brief glance is all that is needed to make a judgment on how attractive a person is and

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