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Lecture 1.doc

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Denise Marigold

LECTURE 1 – FIRST IMPRESSIONS - forming accurate impressions of someone else is difficult - most often, we are forced to rely on cues that are superficial  how they dress, how they look, how friendly, smile or not, etc - also look at things that are strange in other people’s behaviour (ex: no eye contact  negative first impression) o WHY? Because there are lots of people around us, hence we have large field of things to narrow down o We don’t have time to engage in friendships with everyone we meet o So we use intuitions to judge the other person o We use cues/shortcuts to judge people to determine friendships/relationships  Cues that are visible to us (attractiveness) - make gut intuitions about other people when we first them o how long does it takes? o STUDY: Harvard undergraduates saw videos of profs teaching classes, rate effectiveness of each teacher  NOTE: sound of video was off, made solely based on visible cues, not allowed to hear vocal traits, only non-verbal behaviour  At first, 1 minute of the video, but did not have full minute of teacher lecturing without students in the frame  Only was able to get 10 seconds  no trouble rating prof on 15 item checklist of personality trait  5 seconds  ratings were the same  2 seconds  still the same  Made their snap judgments and had no problem articulating the judgments in a mere 2 seconds  This suggests we are able to form first impressions within 2 secs of viewing the person - compared the snap judgments made in 2 sec video clips with teacher evaluations by students after having the prof for an entire term o correlation between snap judgment and teacher evaluations was high o people who viewed silent video clip made the same conclusion o we make quick judgments with people, within 2 seconds, and fairly accurate Another study extended these findings - Videotaped interviewer (who were trained in the art of interviewing) - After interview, Filled out formal detailed questionnaires that were designed to list unbiased responses to applicants - Videotapes Showed to outside observers , also rated applicants - Shown 15 secs of tapes  consisted of knocking on door, entering office, shaking hand, sitting down - 9 out of 11 traits applicants were judged on, the observers rated the applicants the same as the interviewers - Pre-rational ability to make snap judgments - Important: based on gut feelings - In the first study, when students were asked to spend some time thinking about the prof’s effectiveness, accuracy went down, and the correlation between the snap judgments and teacher evaluations went down - When we think hard, we may not come to the same conclusions - Sometimes the first impressions we may colour the other impressions we make over time - First impressions may become the self-fulfilling prophecy - First impressions tell how person will react to particular situations, give us no info on how person will act in different situations - Behaviours in one setting is not predictive in another setting o Example from a study in a school: boy talkative during lunch is talkative during another lunch, but does not mean he is talkative during play time o Different settings bring out different behaviors, and our first impressions cannot pick up on this o We dramatically underestimate the impact of situation has on people’s behavior: fundamental attribution error (where we assume behavior is caused by dispositions and personalities, and situation has little impact on person’s behavior, but in fact, the situation has a much larger impact) o First impressions tap into very small aspect of a person - why is it difficult to make accurate first impressions o often meet people in roles in which the real person is not revealed o when we meet new people, we put “our best feet forward”, wanting the other person to like us o impression management strategies: behave in such a way to give good first impressions, present ourselves in a way that will make the person like us the most o hide flaws, and play up our good side o example:  dating  our best behaviour, avoid telling personal things  Established relationships  see them in a broader array of situations that bring out the good and bad characteristics. Get a better idea of who the person is and how they
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