The Essays On Physiognomy By Solomon Asch

1764 Words Jan 22nd, 2015 8 Pages
The Essays on Physiognomy, written in 19th century, was a paper which tried to describe in a “scientific” way how to understand in minutes the character of a person, based only in his physical traits (Lavater, 1880). The paper, which was based in the same principles of phrenology, became extreme popular; even if there was nothing supporting the unfounded conclusions of this essay, like the relation between close eyebrows and stable personality! Still, the popularity of this paper shows the urge of humans to create and trust quick impressions for others. A predetermination which can be so important in an evolutionary basis- a fast impression for someone attentions lead to a faster response- that lead some scientists to propose that this tendency was generated in the same time as the development of vision itself.

The process of impression formation- or the process of integrating information about someone to form a coherent impression (Brehm, Kassin & Fein, 1999)- was first studied by Solomon Asch (1946). According to his Configural model, individuals use partial only information in order to make general inferences about people. Solomon Asch was the first to discover that the presence of one trait often implies the presence of others, a notion that was the foundation of implicit personality theories. Asch identified certain traits as being more important when forming impressions. He distinguished between central and peripheral traits in which the first ones had more effect on…

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