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

Love at First Sight: New Research on Who's Attracted to Whom

Whether or not you believe in love at first sight, there’s a case to be made for instant attraction. New research on speed-dating shows how personality affects romantic choices.

Too Many Questions!

How do you handle a friend who asks too many questions…to the extent that you feel like you’re being interrogated?
123rf.com/profile_scorpionka

Looking for a Baby Name?

By F. Diane Barth L.C.S.W. on March 10, 2017 in Off the Couch
If you are trying to find a special name, you may want to check out this new research first.

Was Trump’s Speech Good Only Because of the Contrast Effect?

By David B. Feldman Ph.D. on March 03, 2017 in Supersurvivors
Seventy-eight percent of viewers rated Trump’s Congressional appearance positively. Is it possible they fell prey to the psychological illusion known as the contrast effect?

Commitment Phobia and Hookups

In today’s hookup culture, no one is a priority. People are options, like restaurants. If you don’t like the food, you don’t ever need to go back.

Psychology Predicts Popularity of Donald Trump's Presidency?

...ego-merchants are great on a first date, but tend to get tiresome further into a relationship, the ‘chocolate cake’ model also applies to leaders and their followers.

Do Dogs or Cats Make You Look More Attractive?

New data looks at how having a dog or a cat in a photo affects how appealing and attractive the person in the photo appears.

Is ‘Gaydar’ Really a Thing?

By David Ludden Ph.D. on January 16, 2017 in Talking Apes
People can be surprisingly accurate at judging others’ sexual orientation from nonverbal cues, but only because ‘gaydar’ works just like other social intuitions.

8 Ways to Launch a New Romantic Relationship

How do you find a boyfriend or girlfriend? Which approaches are successful and when?

One Simple Way to Stand Out in the Dating Pool

Success on dating apps can be made easier with a simple trick, as suggested by new research.

Why Hasn't He Called?

By Fredric Neuman M.D. on December 16, 2016 in Fighting Fear
An exploration of the reasons why someone may not call back after a great first date. Some of the reasons are discoverable—and may be important.

How to Detect Fake News

The Internet abounds with Fake news and misrepresentation. Our brains are powerful lie detectors, let’s use them.

Is Facebook the New Rorschach?

While Facebook is certainly not a valid and reliable projective testing instrument used by psychologists, it is a projective test nonetheless.

4 Clues to Hillary’s Real Character

By Suzanne Lachmann Psy.D. on October 12, 2016 in Me Before We
We no longer trust anything that politicians say. It is their actions that count. So what can we learn about Hillary Clinton’s character from her actions?

Avoid the Conversational Kiss of Death

By Jaime L. Kurtz Ph.D. on October 06, 2016 in Happy Trails
This one change can inspire meaningful connections and fulfilling conversations.

Powerful Biases Shape How Presidential Debates Are Viewed

Voters are most favorable toward those candidates who are the most optimistic and highest in positive emotion.

The Secret to Great First Impressions

By Keith Rollag Ph.D. on September 22, 2016 in Being Good at Being New
Struggle with networking? Here is a simple but powerful approach to make your more confident and successful.

Debate Winner Is in the Eye (Not the Ear) of the Beholder

By Wendy L. Patrick Ph.D. on September 19, 2016 in Why Bad Looks Good
Watch! Next week´s presidential debate may be won or lost visually rather than verbally. Research shows perception is driven by nonverbal reaction more than verbal response.

How Eye Contact Brings You Together (or Pulls You Apart)

Science explains why making eye contact can be a friendly social signal or challenge another person.

6 Ways to Make a Bad First Impression

First impressions can become last impressions if you’re not careful. These 6 common mistakes can prevent people from getting to know who you really are.

Faking It: Dissimulation, Dishonesty and Lying at Work

By Adrian Furnham Ph.D. on August 11, 2016 in A Sideways View
Rather than punish people for faking certain responses should we not reward them? Does it only depend on what, where and why we fake?

Do Women Prefer Men With Beards?

Does a beard help a guy get noticed? Is a little stubble really sexy? Should he skip a shave or two? Research has the answers.

How I Became Friends With the Dalai Lama

By Paul Ekman Ph.D. on July 29, 2016 in Face It!
A friendship with the Dalai Lama is no small matter, even when you're a world renowned psychologist.

The GOP, Convention Turn Taking, and the Primacy Effect

When voters watch competing messages during both conventions, political turn-taking can benefit the party who goes first. This is true even when controlling for partisan bias.

Did the GOP Unconventional Convention Change Your Vote?

In politics, the impact of an initial positive impression endures—even in the face of subsequent negative attacks. The GOP convention may particularly impact partisan voters.

#What Lives Matter?

By Sam Louie MA, LMHC on July 16, 2016 in Minority Report
By now you've seen the war of words between #Black Lives Matter and #All Lives Matter. So what's wrong with saying, "All lives matter"?

Want to Be Liked? Check Two Things Before Clicking SEND

Want people to like you when you correspond with them via email? Pay attention to these two factors. One or two moments of checking can have huge impact.

Standing Out in a Crowd by Marketing Yourself

How do you make sure that you stand out from everyone else? The answer often comes down to marketing.

Toward a Photo Finish: A Picture Is Worth a Thousand Votes

A picture is worth a thousand votes. Candidate photos are an integral part of elections because viewers are voters. When casting their ballot, citizens both look and listen.
Ventral surface of brain from Sobotta's Human Anatomy 1908/wikimedia

Do Men and Women Lead Differently?

By Shane O'Mara D.Phil. on June 28, 2016 in The Interrogated Brain
Can you tell a male brain and a female brain apart just by looking? How about a male leader's brain from a female leader's brain?