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How First Impressions Affect People

Imagine that it is the first time you are meeting someone. How do you treat that person? Why? Your first impression of someone is usually based on that person’s appearance.

You instantly make first judgements based on how he or she looks. For example, if you meet a well –dressed woman in an office building, you might assume that she is a well – paid corporate executive.

 

Should you meet a waiter in a local restaurant, you might assume that he does not make as much money as the corporate executive.

 

You might interact with these people differently, just as y ou might interact with people differently of different genders, races, or socioeconomic classes.

 

These initial judgements may influence us more than later information does.

 

What was your first impression of you teacher? Did that first impression ever change?

These impressions sometimes become a self-fulfilling prophecy; that is, the way you act toward someone changes depending on your impression of him or her, and this in turn affects how that person interacts with you.

 

For instance, suppose you showed up on the first day of class in a terrible mood, During the class period, you did not really p ay attention to the lecture and even made a few jokes in class. Your teacher immediately labelled you as the class troublemaker and , therefore, did not teat you as an attentive and good student.

 

You may have responded to that treatment by not studying not caring about your grade in class. In reality, you may be a great student; you just had a bad day on the rist day of class and now cannot seem to please your teacher.

 

On many occasions we take first impressions into account. For example, when you first start dating someone, you try to look nice. When going for a job interview, you dress well.

 

Forming impressions about others helps us place these people into categories. The knowledge or set of assumptions that we develop about any person or event is known as schema.

 

We develop a schema for every person we know. When you meet someone who seems unusually intelligent people- that they are boring, boastful, unfriendly,  

and the like. Whatever that person does can be interpreted as support for either theory.

 

You are impressed by how animated your intelligent friend becomes when talking about work; another person does not care for how little attention your friend pays to other people. Both of you are filling in gaps in what you know about the person, fitting her into a type you have constructed in your mind.

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