All About First Impressions

We're built to size each other up quickly. Even if we're presented with lots of evidence to the contrary, we're attached to our initial impressions of people—which is why you should be aware of the impression you make on others. Luckily there are simple guidelines for wowing new acquaintances.

Recent posts on First Impressions

A Reflection on Creepy Mustaches and Creepy Hobbies

By Frank T. McAndrew Ph.D. on September 22, 2017 in Out of the Ooze
How you spend your leisure time may signal how uncomfortable others expect to be when they interact with you; in other words, your hobbies can be a way of flaunting creepiness.

Cover Story: Clothing Items That Make Women Attractive

By Wendy L. Patrick, Ph.D. on September 17, 2017 in Why Bad Looks Good
Fair or not, women are often approached based not on who they are, but on what they wear. Research reveals the appeal of heels, and why the color red looks red hot.

Being Biased Impairs Brain Processing and Disrupts Learning

By Nick Hobson Ph.D. on September 12, 2017 in Ritual and the Brain
Group bias can impair your brain's learning function. Here's why your workplace should know this.

How To Make Friends When You Don’t Have Play Dates

By Miriam Kirmayer on September 12, 2017 in Casual to Close
Making friends as an adult can be anxiety-producing and confusing. Unlike childhood, there isn’t a structure in place to facilitate friendship-making nor are there clear-cut rules.

Expansive Body Language and Quick Romantic Attraction

What types of body language get you noticed quickly and create attraction, especially in today’s world of speed dating and swipe-to-match dating apps?

Power Role Play: Dressing For Success Makes You Successful

By Wendy L. Patrick, Ph.D. on September 09, 2017 in Why Bad Looks Good
We perceive the competence and character traits of others, at least initially, by what they wear. Yet research reveals that we apply the same standards to ourselves.

What Should You Wear on a First Date? Why it Matters

By Wendy L. Patrick, Ph.D. on September 03, 2017 in Why Bad Looks Good
On a first date, a woman´s attire can be perceived as transmitting romantic interest and receptivity to advances, often resulting in false expectations.

Who Pays For a First Date?: Why It Matters

By Wendy L. Patrick, Ph.D. on September 02, 2017 in Why Bad Looks Good
On a first date, footing the bill is not always a foot in the door.

Are you Generating Instagram Envy? How to Post, Not Boast

Although starstruck Instagram followers enjoy living vicariously, posters are most likely to generate goodwill through showcasing a life of love, not luxury.

What Should You Do When You Don't Trust Your Therapist?

By Loren Soeiro, Ph.D. ABPP on August 21, 2017 in I Hear You
What's the right thing to do if you've started therapy, but you're not sure you feel a connection to your psychologist? Here's a tip that could get the treatment back on track.

Emoticons in Work Emails Create Impression of Incompetence

By Gwendolyn Seidman Ph.D. on August 18, 2017 in Close Encounters
New research examines how using emoticons affects first impressions. Emoticons may be beneficial in some situations, but can make you look less competent in professional settings.

Beware: On a First Date, Red Flags Can Look Red Hot

Beware dangerous liaisons. On a first date, exciting, assertive people perceived as desirable might be dangerous. Get to know prospective partners before getting involved.

The Seduction of Secret — How Intrigue Sparks Attraction

Mysterious, fascinating, or assertive partners spark intrigue and admiration. Yet avoid a date with disaster by considering why someone does not open up.

They All Look Alike

Can we improve our ability to recognize the faces of people in groups other than our own? Experience with others can help.

The Psychology of First Impressions

By David Ludden Ph.D. on August 08, 2017 in Talking Apes
Researchers identify four facial features that drive our first impressions of others.

Danger Zones: 3 Red Flags to Avoid on a First Date

Many daters unwittingly blow their chances of a first date turning into a second by treading into danger zones of awkwardness or inappropriate behavior.
https://pixabay.com/en/couple-date-fashion-happy-man-1845620/

Where to Go on a First Date? Why Scene Selection Matters

Sparks fly when distraction is low. Selective focus is seductive, so on a first date, set the scene to give your partner your undivided attention.

What Is the Sexiest Emotion for Men to Display?

By Alec Beall, Ph.D. on July 27, 2017 in Aesthetics 101
Why are bad boys so dreamy? Emotion research may help to explain.

Are You Dating Confident?

How do you approach dating? Here's why confidence can help.

The #1 Conversation Topic for a Great First Date

Research reveals that the number-one topic of conversation of a successful first date is the woman.

How "Only Having Eyes" for Your Date Creates Chemistry

Research indicates that when it comes to building chemistry, first-date partners are uniquely attracted to others they believe are uniquely attracted to them.

First Principles of First Impressions

By Marty Nemko Ph.D. on July 15, 2017 in How To Do Life
More nuance is required than to smile and master small talk.

At Wimbledon, Grunts May Separate Winners from Losers

Two new studies reaffirm that speaking (or grunting) in a lower pitch voice can make you appear less submissive in daily life and help you perform better in sporting competitions.

If for Just One Day We Could Smell as a Dog Does

Imagine, for a moment, walking into a large gathering and instantly, with just a sniff or two, knowing intimately more about the people around you.

My Days as a Crappy TV Mom

Ever wonder how "Hollywood" moms deal with their fictional versions of themselves and their children? Here is a peek...

The Psychology of Selfies

By David Ludden Ph.D. on June 24, 2017 in Talking Apes
A new study shows how people adjust the camera angle of their selfies to manage the impression they want to make on other persons.

Speaking at the Speed of Trust

By Deborah Grayson Riegel MSW on June 05, 2017 in Speak Easy
Have you ever heard a speaker you didn't trust? Here's why, and what you can do to avoid becoming one.

The Criminal's Use of Everyday Words

You may believe you understand what an offender is saying, but think again!

The Best Way to Make New Friends

By David Ludden Ph.D. on June 05, 2017 in Talking Apes
A new Harvard study shows that people like us more when we let them do most of the talking.