The Influential First Impression

Hello, I am a junior at my high school enrolled in our independent research program.

Over the course of the academic year I have been researching my topic of first impressions. A first impression can be described as “the event when one person first encounters another person and forms a mental image of that person” (Flora). These images can be extremely lasting, but are able to be altered or broken. Every aspect of a person comes into consideration for a quick moment when a first impression is formed; Physical appearance, ethnicity, gender, and personality are just a few to name. These factors of a person are analyzed for a very short amount of time and are combined to create a quick conclusion about the person.

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Research says that upon the first glance of a new face, it takes about three seconds to form a first impression (Roberts). The powerful action of stereotyping can severely affect the formation of first impressions in both a positive and negative manner. A stereotype causes us to make assumptions about things that could possibly be untrue. It is human nature to implement stereotypes into the initial confrontation of a person because we instinctively want to have knowledge about the things/person we encounter. This instinct is an evolutionary defense mechanism that protects us from the unknown. Stereotypes can be potentially harmful to a person’s reputation because it could attribute negatively false information to the person.

When meeting a new person it is imperative to void the thought of stereotypes and base your impression solely of of the information that is given by the person. False accusations and stereotypes are never justified in this instance. Works Cited Flora, Carlin. “The First Impression.” PsychologyToday. Sussex Directories, 14 May 2004.

Web. 2 Apr. 2014.

org/web/20110220025155/>. Roberts, Lucien W. “Making a Great First Impression at Your Medical Practice – See more at: making-great-first-impression-your-medical-practice#sthash.H5Pev5WJ.dpuf.”