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

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.
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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.

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

By Joseph A. Shrand M.D. on May 07, 2017 in The I-M Approach
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.
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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.