person standing near the stairs

Picture this, you are preparing for a work interview, or at a new school for the first day. You pay particular attention to what your hair looks like, what you wear, how that morning you do your makeup. To make sure your look is the best it can be, you double-check these things. Why is this what you do? Since you want to make a strong first impression, you do this. 

First impressions are so important that there is never a way to give a first impression of the second. . This is because research has shown, “…that all it takes is a tenth of a second to form an impression of a stranger from their face, and that longer exposures don’t significantly alter those impressions…” (Wargo, 2006). Yes, a person is judged based on their facial characteristics much of the time. If a person has a “mature” face or a “baby-face,” whether they appear trustworthy or likable, and in judicial matters or in an election, these perceptions are the most strong. And repeated exposure to a person more often than not does not alter these decisions, especially if there is no verbal interaction between two individuals.

There are other considerations, of course, that decide the first impression. Some of them are visual, facial, body language, and general appearance. Others have verbal conversations, such as in a work interview, where the employee speaks with reverence or casual language to their future employer. Or what kind of language is used by a human and whether they use it properly. These variables are not as important as the facial characteristics of an individual.

Overall, you don’t have much influence over the first impression of a human, but you have control over how you alter the first impression of an erroneous one. This is not to suggest that you shouldn’t look your best, you should strive to have an image that can affect a favorable first impression even harder instead.

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