First Impression

by Thilaka Ravi on  September 8, 2008 at 7:24 PM Lifestyle and Wellness
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It is human instinct to make an appraisal of a person or a situation at one glance. The reason cited for this is that the brain takes first-impression snapshots, making an amalgam of all the signals emanating from a new experience.Several studies have shown that it takes only about three seconds to evaluate a person we see for the first time. Visual appearance and behavior including demeanor, voice, mannerisms and body language容ven accessories like watch, handbag or briefcase play a role in forming first impressions.

Predicted Outcome Value Theory

A survey among164 college freshermen by two US professors Michael Sunnafrank and Artemio Ramirez Jr. at periodic intervals found that first impressions have a profound influence on determining the future course of a relationship. Researchers call this "predicted outcome value theory."

People make snap judgments within the first few minutes about the kind of relationship they want with another person they just met. This will in turn determine the effort they are willing to put into developing a friendship with the person.

Sure Starters

Several studies in social psychology reveal that warmth, competence and physical attractiveness are the characteristics that impress people from start, across a range of business and social relationships.

A recent study that investigated the progress of relationships involving 89 undergraduates from the University of New Orleans showed that personality rather than physical attractiveness was the key factor in determining potential relationships. Psychologists who believe in the accuracy of snap judgments agree that "a good judge of personality isn't someone who is just smarter擁t's someone who gets out and spends time with people," to quote Dr.David Funder a professor of psychology at the University of California.

Hard-wired preference for looks?

There are many who lament that society gives more credit to a person's outward looks than inner qualities. .

Till date no study has been able to establish a link between looks and intelligence, happiness or mental health. Yet, all of us know how important it is to make a first impression the best impression, while entering a new class at school or college, looking for a new job, going for a first date, or meeting future in-laws.

Now that several studies have established the validity of appraisals in business and social circles based on the first encounter, there is a huge market thriving on claims to help people make the best possible first impression.

Seductive lips and Scent of Eros

Beginning from simple facials to Botox and other repair jobs, there is a whole array of image-boosting possibilities to electrify that first meeting. In keeping with the times and seeing the pace at which a relationship progresses葉hink blind dates and speed dating葉he market has something constantly coming up for those who want something more than just their body, mind and soul to do the talking. There is a three-part lip care system named "first impression" to increase collagen and hyaluronic acid without injections for fuller, sexier, more sensual and kissable lips just as there is a booming market for the 'scent of Eros' claiming to trigger pheromones葉he sex scent that can excite and arouse the opposite sex, according to recent research.

Hairstyle strategies

A study on hair styling strategies suggests one's choice of hairstyle could project an image of intelligence, confidence, conceit, insecurity, diffidence or carelessness. According to Lamas Beauty Magazine, women with short-tousled hairstyles like Halle Berry, Charlize Theron or writer Arundathi Roy appear as the confident and out-going type, long-hair styled brunettes or blondes or black-haired women like Catherine Zeta Jones, Renee Zellweger and Kareena Kapoor come across as sexy and affluent, while women with mid-length casual hair styles a la Liv Tyler and Sandra Bullock look intelligent and good-natured.

Regarding men's hairstyles, key findings have shown that men with long hair appeared not so well to do but suggested open-mindedness. Men like Ben Affleck, George Clooney and Brad Pitt, with short front-flip hair styles are seen as most confident and sexy, and self-centered too, whereas men with medium-length side-parted hair like Russell Crowe come across as the most intelligent and affluent, though narrow-minded.

Tips to open doors

While being spontaneous, frank, genuine and unpretentious are definite virtues that are bound to impress anyone, learning to make a positive and lasting impression is a skill that can be acquired to modify and suit any occasion and emerge a winner. We need to first take a hard look to identify our personality, physical appearance, life style and goals and try to improve upon them. Impression management teaches "how to" techniques to establish confidence, competence and trust to make the positive first impression that will open doors.

There are a few basic, common sense tips we could follow to make an impressive beginning, before we even go learning to develop communication, etiquette and protocol skills.

  • Be Yourself
  • Make eye contact with the other person
  • Avoid fidgeting and other distracting mannerisms
  • Listen. Don't interrupt abruptly. Show that you are 'other-centered.'
  • Talk briefly and politely
  • Pack some energy into your voice while talking
  • Avoid criticisms, complaints and focus on positive comments
  • Share your passion and interests
  • If you are not well versed in a topic that is discussed, admit your limitation. Don't pretend otherwise.
  • Smile. A smile is guaranteed to reduce fear of business and social encounters with unfamiliar faces.
Net relationships葉o date or not to date

The World Wide Web has changed the dynamics of a whole range of relationships that the guidelines for a successful first impression need to be redefined for Netizens. No body language clues, no giveaway expressions of exasperation or consent, and no "love scent" that might influence people strongly when they meet each other for the first timeonline relationships have fewer chances of predicting outcomes. The fate of relationships decided by clicks is held in suspense until the inevitable happens.

Virtual First Impressions

The Internet has drastically reduced the crucial time of first impression to fewer seconds. Regular web users will agree that there is less e-time to make a good first impression than in real life. Given that online credibility comes and goes in an instant, it requires a different set of parameters to impress potential visitors at a first glance on the web page. A blog site for example, which is competing with a million other sites for attention, has only precious few seconds to make the right impression on a visitor. So much so, if that first impression is messed up, the blogger might want to pack up and do gardening instead.

Presenting content online is an art by itself. The best of contents presented on a grand page but with spelling, grammatical or HTML errors will make a visitor scurry away to another site in a hurry. Anyone who frequents the web will be able to list annoying factors like errors 様ingual and factual, static front page, clumsy layout such as advertisements at the top of the template or blatantly displayed "Click here" in huge colored rectangles, that search engine analytic studies have shown, are sure ways to disenchant a first time visitor.

Whatever it Takes

There are some who believe that nothing is permanent in this world except change and regardless of how strong the first impression may have been it can sweeten or sour as days go by. Concurrently studies have shown that first impressions are not merely hard-wired reactions to a new situation.

The least we can do to make a good start is to smile. "We can pick up a smile from 30 meters away," says Paul Ekman, professor of psychology at the University of California Medical School in San Francisco. It would make sense to do whatever it takes for a primacy effect from the very beginning because, as the old saying goes, "You never get a second chance to make a first impression."

Source: Medindia

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Wish we could go back to days when parents found a match. Nowadays even parents secretly hope working daughters fall in love and marry. It's an awful stress when choosing a life partner. Prenu


Nicely written but in what way the article is related to health?


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