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

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!

How to Make Friends by Asking Questions

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.

52 Ways to Show I Love You: Aging with Joy

Delia Ephron's moving essay inspires appreciation of the many ways that both experiencing and showing love can change as we age. Shifts in priorities bring changes in behavior.

Moving Online Romance Offline: How Soon Is Too Soon?

How long should you wait to transition online courtship into realtime romance? Because compatibility and chemistry are best judged in person, perhaps sooner rather than later.

Why Being Yourself Is Not Good Advice

It seems like a great idea to be yourself. But what does it actually mean to lead an authentic life? There are three parts to authenticity.

Rats! Sometimes Psychiatrists Get It Wrong

Sometimes things are not what they appear to be in a locked psychiatric inpatient unit. This is a short story about a man who saw rats, and no one believed him.
Used by permission by theconversation.com

Learning From Professional Listeners

Become a professional conversationalist.

How to Have a Successful First Date (After Meeting Online)

By Grant H. Brenner M.D. on April 18, 2017 in ExperiMentations
Online dating is increasingly popular, and notoriously unsatisfying for many. Research is beginning to sort out what works—simple steps can help a first date go better.

When Do Nice Guys Finish First?

When does the dating advantage go to the nice guy?

The Two Faces of Narcissism in Romantic Relationships

Narcissists are attractive in the short-run but in long-term, their grandiosity leads to problems. New research shows how narcissism’s two faces predict relationship quality.

How Much Easier Is Life for Good-Looking People?

By Ray Williams on April 05, 2017 in Wired for Success
There’s substantial evidence to indicate we make judgments about people based on their physical attractiveness, which affect relationships, job selection and success.

When and What Do I Tell My New Boyfriend About My ADD?

“How do I explain my ADD to my new boyfriend?” the transfer student asks. Our conversation captures the tension of self-disclosure.

Is Your Relationship a Good One? 4 Ways to Know

Evaluating whether a relationship is right for you just got a bit easier.

Would You Date Someone in a Wheelchair?

Is a wheelchair a hindrance to romance? If your answer is 'yes', perhaps you are too focused on what your relationship will look like to other people.

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?
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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.