It has often been said that "the first impression is the last impression". In the society that we live in today, that proverb has often turned out to be true. Research shows that people are quick to form a lasting impression of others, just from the first impression that they perceive from others' behavior. Since psychology plays such an important role in how we perceive different people, society often becomes judgemental.
Research has shown that human beings form an impression of others in less than one-tenth of a second. Some researchers even say that human beings develop this judgmental tendency as early as 3 years old. Here are a few factors in how humans form first impressions according to psychology.
Resemblance and familiarity
Researchers say that we judge someone's personality based on how familiar they look to us. When we meet someone who resembles someone we love, we are more likely to imagine that person to be having positive qualities like intelligence, trustworthiness, beauty, and so on.
The positive "affect"
Affect in psychology refers to any significant experience of feelings and emotions that we go through. It is the visible reaction a person displays toward events. Research says that a positive "affect" is important for a good first impression. A happy-looking person will give you a better first impression than a grumpy-looking person.
Facial width to height ratio
Research has found that faces that were smaller in height were viewed as less trustworthy and more aggressive. On the other hand, faces that were bigger in height were seen as more trustworthy and less aggressive. Females that had longer faces were seen as more feminine compared to those females who had short faces.
The pretty privilege
The pretty privilege, or the beauty bias, refers to the additional advantages and opportunities that attractive people have over people who are not considered to be attractive. Researchers say that the pretty privilege is real. Several studies have shown that attractive people are also considered to have positive qualities like intelligence, smartness, sociability, friendliness, and kindness.