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First Impressions Really DO Count

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posted on Oct, 7 2014 @ 02:01 PM
Apologies if already posted or wrong forum. I searched and found nothing.

First impressions DO count: Brains make snap judgements before we even make a conscious decision about a person


When meeting someone for the first time, many of us make instant judgements about their personality or their interests based on how they look and act.
And now new research claims these judgements are made before we have even had time to form and gather our thoughts.

So much for non-judgmental ideology (IMHO). Along with bacteria in your stomach that can change and affect your moods and thinking, and magnetic waves that can alter your moral judgement, we are finding more and more evidence that puts crack in the argument for total free will (IMHO), and is shattering the ideas that we used to have about how and why we make judgments. We have subconscious hard-wired programming for accessing situations and decision-making, that helps us survive and evolve as a species.

You cannot not judge others and situations and things.

Your body and mind are built for it in it's own way, just like any other living creature.

Again, most of your crucial judgments are made subconsciously. Before you ever think a conscious thought about what it is you're observing. Over half of the ways we communicate between people is non-verbal, through body language, facial expressions, and other keys, that is all done automatically by your brain. You're never even conscious of it.

Of course, you can shut off your conscious mind, and tinker with the subconscious as well. But then you're a sitting duck, technically speaking.

I believe that some aspect of your inner judgments, outside of that hard-wired stuff, are subconsciously aligned with your personal moral/ethical code (or lack thereof). However, when the survival instinct kicks in, or even a group crowd effect takes hold, no one can say with certainty how one will judge and ultimately act, especially if you were defending your life or the life of your loved ones. After all, we are talking about millions of years of evolutionary programming still working today. After all that, there's probably the conscious mind latching on, often arbitrarily it seems, for some sense of organization and just attempting to making sense of a situation with the information given/taken, but certainly not quite as precisely brutally efficient as the brain is in making snap judgments with no other considerations. For those who would argue the conscious mind still shapes the end results of the decision making process, I would of course counter that the subconscious mind rules the conscious mind completely and utterly, and no conscious thought can be made without being filtered through the subconscious first.
edit on 7-10-2014 by Calalini because: because I really suck at final posting

posted on Oct, 7 2014 @ 02:08 PM
a reply to: Calalini

It's brutally efficient at sorting friends and enemies. 99% of people you encounter daily are neither. Above that, the snap judgments are prone to errors.

So don't throw out the rational mind or the world will be binary. If you are a soldier it might make sense for you and your command meme but that's no way for free range humans to live --is it?

posted on Oct, 7 2014 @ 02:11 PM
a reply to: Calalini

The future will not be dictated by those who know things, but by those who are very good at rejecting that which they thought they knew in order to embrace a new emergent truth. ;p
edit on 7-10-2014 by Nechash because: (no reason given)

posted on Oct, 7 2014 @ 02:13 PM
a reply to: InverseLookingGlass
Excellent points. However, if your subconscious mind is truly the filter through which all (debatable, and I see more and more evidence in favor of yea) your judgments and decision-making are ultimately processed, your conscious rationality may actually have little to do with the final results, as this study and others are starting to show evidence for. It may very well be that you are being fooled.

edit on 7-10-2014 by Calalini because: a little too rigid in my argument

posted on Oct, 7 2014 @ 03:02 PM
a reply to: Calalini

Your body and mind are built for it in it's own way, just like any other living creature.

Personally I believe we are programmed to react a certain way by a lifetime of conditioning. I don't care what they look like, I want to see a persons eyes. I want them to meet my gaze. If they look me up and down I know they are shallow as the clothes we all have on. That kind of person judges books by their cover, too.

I prefer to meet them and see this initial reaction on their part. I know right away if they are going to be someone I want to know more or less.

posted on Oct, 7 2014 @ 03:08 PM
a reply to: Calalini

Free will would be a fine thing.

Our advanced built society has pretty much blinkered us to mans ability to effect other peoples minds. But it happens and its the people in power that control the thought impulses of the weak, ie the powerless. The hardest thing in that equation is coming to terms with the fact you you are probably powerless. This ability can almost be tested on children. Starting at the very basics of facial expressions through to sensory mood detection, But thats just the start. A well tuned mind can possibly prompt a child into impulses they were not aware of. Children are weak.

Rack that up to a social system that is merciless and you might have a clue as to why you masterbate, buy stuff and suddenly start doing things that you had no predetermined will to do.

A s said, it all equates to free will being a fine thing if it existed.

posted on Oct, 8 2014 @ 02:33 AM
a reply to: Calalini

My own experience has taught me to trust my first impressions of other people implicitly, with one sole exception: attractive women (I am a heterosexual man). When I was younger I believed the conventional wisdom, and deferred judgement on people until I 'got to know them better'. This was usually a mistake. The people I found myself reluctant to warm to on first encounter later proved themselves to be untrustworthy or ill-disposed towards me.

Of course, there may be an element of self-fulfilling prophecy in my subsequent relationships with those people. Even so, I don't believe it alters the validity of my judgements.

Once I stopped trying to be prejudiced and went back to relying on first impressions my life improved perceptibly.

Concerning the exception noted above: if I find a person sexually attractive, I tend to assume that they are likeable or worth knowing in other ways, too. This is plainly a case of thinking with the wrong organ, but I'm sure many of us are susceptible to it, and nowadays I make allowances.

Having said that, I should add that I also believe something much more controversial: that good-looking people are, on the whole, much nicer, more likeable and more intelligent than ugly ones. There are many exceptions, but the proposition works well as a rule of thumb — for me, at least. Perhaps I read 'character' as 'good looks' in some sense.

posted on Oct, 8 2014 @ 03:25 AM
This subject is troubling to me, I hate the idea of people being judged on their appearance- especially traits they cannot change (as opposed to, how one dresses).

But when you research a bit the many studies on this, and what they are finding, it just seems unavoidable! They are finding that even when we try to make conscious judgements which go against the instinctual reactions, they just don't win out. The subconscious will sneak in it's influence anyway.

My husband once expressed to me that he did have the habit of listening to his first reactions to people, and I was aghast... especially when he said he tends to feel that physical beauty denotes a similar internal beauty. I blew up at that ridiculous notion. But then looking at studies, that IS the deep reaction of most people, whether they are conscious of it or not.

Plus, if there is anything that I can say about my husband of 23 years, is that he has an incredibly accurate and reliable intuition about people.... so I am still struggling with this evidence, which I'd like to reject.

I've read some studies that went in depth into what certain physical traits inspire in others on first look, and it is rather interesting to see that there are some associations that people from all around the world make the same- culture doesn't even change them! To find out that your specific traits send out a certain idea of your personality to everyone at first glance can be very troubling, if it is an image you do not identify with, or would not like to be seen as!

I don't know, I'd like to think I have so much more leeway in my self creation- in who I am. But more and more evidence points to the influence of others in our formation (how people react to you also forms who you become) and how much our physical appearence influence how others react to you.... it keeps bringing us back to the idea that your genetic material largely sets the course for who you shall be and what role you will play in society.

posted on Oct, 8 2014 @ 03:33 AM
I once met a man, a new neighbor. No particularly strong reaction one way or the other but he seemed OK. Over time he still seemed OK. Friends of mine also found him OK.

My dog (a golden retriever) hated the man from the first time he saw him. I had never seen my dog react that way to anyone, before or after. Snarling, back up, baring teeth. A scary looking golden retriever! Every time he saw him.

Turned out my dog was much more accurate at first impressions. I came home one day to find the man rummaging around in my house. I don't trust my impressions. I trust experience. And my dog.
edit on 10/8/2014 by Phage because: (no reason given)

posted on Oct, 8 2014 @ 08:24 AM
If there is one thing I've noticed about people who claim they can always rely on their gut feelings, it's that they frequently will never acknowledge when their gut feelings are wrong.

I was hoping this topic would get more interest. I find it very interesting that we are gathering more and more evidence for the idea that we may not be so firmly placed in the drivers seat after all, that our minds and bodies have a will and presence of their own outside of our conscious mind.

posted on Oct, 8 2014 @ 09:47 AM
Researching this subject more can be really enlightening.

For most of my life, I was unable to understand why many people have a hostile reaction to me.
Not all, but in particular, people who have a very dominant type personality, both male and female.

But I have a tendency to be submissive, passive, and receptive way of reacting to all people (this, people who know me well even confirm). When faced with others, I just feel overwhelmed by a desire to get along with them and be as agreable as possible. I easily feel overwhelmed by my empathy and concern for others, causing me to be somewhat of a pushover.

So would anyone have the first reaction to attack me? I could not understand it, and none of my friends could see it either.

Until I read up on facial traits and instinctual reactions- I have everything that is supposed to inspire the image of being forceful, dominating, authoritative (heavy square jaw, lips downturned at the ends...) then , in reading about body language, realized I do things like stand with my legs apart and firmly planted, hands on hips, which indicate a very forceful dominant personality.

It just blew my mind that I am sending out these signals that seem so wrong about who I am and my intents!
How could that be?

It took time to realize that, my self image in relation to others is very different from my self image alone.
These sorts of body language, I do not do while faced and interacting with others- but if they see me doing them from a distance, while alone, or while concentrating on something else, they get a distinct idea of my personality.
It doesn't even matter if they don't see it while talking with me (my body language changes drastically when engaged in exchange with another)- that just means I am a dominant personality- in a temporary moment of vulnerability (the moment to act quickly and attack!).

I do not have low self esteem, but my esteem of others is just as high. It seems like many people judge in an either/or fashion- this is either better than that, or worse than that.. I am better than he, or worse than he.

As far as our instinctual reflexes and social drives go, nothing is "equal but different". "I'm okay, you're okay" is not common perception.

I am starting to come to the conclusion that perhaps I was born with a natural tendency to be rather "alpha- ish" and extroverted, but my early experiences caused that to be somewhat repressed or scrambled. I had a friend I recently talked with who stated she also saw that I have innate leadership type of qualities, but it becomes clear, when people know me for a while, that they were twisted and "neutralized" (her word) by my early environment and experiences.
I think much of my social instincts became warped. my tendency to be extroverted and dominant were pushed into introverted and obsessed with self mastership and discipline instead.

This is not of interest to anyone else, I know. What I guess I am getting at, is the notion that we don't know ourselves as much as we'd like to think.

"Do people perceive me as I truly am?" is a rather complex question, and not easy to answer....
edit on 8-10-2014 by Bluesma because: (no reason given)

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