Are You Making a Great First Impression? (Barking Up the Wrong Tree)


Whether it’s a job interview or meeting the in-laws, it’s clear that first impressions matter, and they likely matter more so than we think. At least since the 1997 study by Winkielman, Zajonc, and Schwarz that showed first impressions develop and remain over the course of one’s interactions with the subject, there has been a growing field of research on making a positive first impression.

For example, it turns out that offering tasty food like a cheeseburger to a recipient can be a powerful tool to induce in the recipient a temporary mood of compliance. But coming across as putting in too much effort to be well liked can backfire. “In sum, positive self-presentation facilitates more accurate impressions,” writes psychologist Lauren Human, suggesting that “putting one’s best self forward helps reveal one’s true self.” Read the article here.

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