You Know When Your First Impressions Are Accurate


Do people have insight into the validity of their first impressions or accuracy awareness? Across two large interactive round-robins, those who reported having formed a more accurate impression of a specific target had (a) a more distinctive realistically accurate impression, accurately perceiving the target’s unique personality characteristics as described by the target’s self-, parent-, and peer-reports, and (b) a more normatively accurate impression, perceiving the target to be similar to what people generally tend to be like. Specifically, if a perceiver reported forming a more valid impression of a specific target, he or she had in fact formed a more realistically accurate impression of that target for all but the highest impression validity levels. In contrast, people who generally reported more valid impressions were not actually more accurate in general. In sum, people are aware of when and for whom their first impressions are more realistically accurate.

Source: “Do We Know When Our Impressions of Others Are Valid? Evidence for Realistic Accuracy Awareness in First Impressions of Personality” from Social Psychological and Personality Science

We’re also aware of the first impressions that we make on others. And, yes, they are that big a deal but there is a way to fix things if you make a bad one. It only takes us 100 milliseconds to make up our mind about someone and never for get the importance of context.

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