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

Should You Tell a Friend That You Don't Like Her Partner?

By Barbara Greenberg Ph.D. on December 09, 2017 in The Teen Doctor
What to consider before telling your friend that you don't like her partner.

Why You Talk About Your Relationship With Friends

It's not what we say — it's why we say it.
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3 Tips to Finding Love When You’re Older

It takes a willingness to stay the course and not give up.

LinkedIn: How to Spot Predators Posing as Professionals

By Wendy L. Patrick, Ph.D. on December 01, 2017 in Why Bad Looks Good
Online business networking sites provide an aura of authenticity. Exploiting the legitimacy of platforms like LinkedIn, predators often masquerade as professionals.

Holiday Decorating Is Good for the Soul

The beauty of holiday decorating, though, is that your way – no matter what it is – is the right way for you and your traditions

What Happens When You Run into Your Therapist on the Street?

By Loren Soeiro, Ph.D. ABPP on November 21, 2017 in I Hear You
Have you ever had the unnerving experience of running into your therapist when you're not at all ready to see him or her? How will it likely play out and why?

Face Time: What Expression Makes the Best First Impression?

By Wendy L. Patrick, Ph.D. on November 20, 2017 in Why Bad Looks Good
We size each other up quickly, based on what we see. A happy face is noticeable, memorable, and creates positive emotion—which enhances the perception of authenticity.

A Face in the Crowd: What Type of People Are Most Memorable?

By Wendy L. Patrick, Ph.D. on November 13, 2017 in Why Bad Looks Good
Ever wonder why certain people stand out in your mind? What is it about them that makes them so unforgettable? The answer likely has more to do with you than them.
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Perceiving the Credibility of Claims of Sexual Abuse

By Harold Sigall Ph.D. on November 12, 2017 in Wishful Thoughts
How did the appearance of Harvey Weinstein and his accusers affect our beliefs about their credibility?

Stern

By Marty Nemko Ph.D. on November 09, 2017 in How To Do Life
A short-short story about people’s veneer.

When an Open Book Is Fiction: Detecting Dishonesty on a Date

By Wendy L. Patrick, Ph.D. on November 08, 2017 in Why Bad Looks Good
As much as you want to take the plunge of trust, don't believe everything you hear. Pacing, presentation, and pauses provide several ways to detect deception.

Face First: The Most Attractive Expression for a First Date

By Wendy L. Patrick, Ph.D. on November 07, 2017 in Why Bad Looks Good
We size each other up through facial expressions within milliseconds. On a first date, put your best face forward, to ensure a great first date leads to a great relationship

Why You Should Smile in Your Online Photo

By Wendy L. Patrick, Ph.D. on November 01, 2017 in Why Bad Looks Good
When selecting a handsome photo to augment your witty dating profile text, consider that photo selection can quickly define your desirability—or lack thereof.

The Most Attractive Trait Displayed During First Impression

By Wendy L. Patrick, Ph.D. on November 01, 2017 in Why Bad Looks Good
First impressions are best formed in person because emotions matter. Responsive strangers are found to be attractive and desirable.

Wait for My Signal

By Lucia F O'Sullivan Ph.D. on October 26, 2017 in At First Blush
It's often women, not men, who initiate the first approach.

12 Tips for Landing a Job at a Company You Admire

By Brad Waters on October 17, 2017 in Design Your Path
Online job applications not getting you a foot in the door of your favorite companies? Here are 12 tips for catching their attention.

The Most Attractive (Invisible) Asset on a Date

If you set your device on the table on a date, beware: distraction signals disinterest. Instead, cultivate chemistry through the most significant silent compliment: your attention.

Dating Dealbreakers: How to Make or Break a First Date

Dating dealbreakers come in all shapes and sizes, from personality to lifestyle to health. Make it a priority to spot them on a first date, when you are at your most objective.

How a Picture With Friends Can Get You a Date!

Does who you surround yourself with matter when looking for a date? Can being near friends (or lovers) make you more attractive to potential partners? Find out here…

Does Similarity Lead to Attraction and Compatibility?

Do birds of a feather flock together, or does familiarity really breed contempt? Are we attracted to those who are similar to us? Find out what research has to say…

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 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.

The Most Attractive Type of Body Language

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.