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Discussion: First Impressions

Confirmation bias is an interesting phenomenon; it explains people’s misplaced confidence when evaluating someone’s character based on first impressions. If people allow their first impressions to be challenged, there is a chance that subsequent information will compel a revision. However, not everyone is willing to change their first impressions; somehow, their belief in being a good judge of character is threatened if their impression changes.

In this case, there is a resistance to new information that may challenge what they already believe is true. They will likely focus only on details that confirm their first impression while ignoring those that do not. This is why so many insist that, based on “sound” first impressions, they are excellent judges of character. Clearly, this is not necessarily so.

For this Discussion, you will consider a personal experience regarding first impressions and apply social psychology theory to explore how impressions form quickly and persist. 

To Prepare
  • Review the Learning Resources for this week and consider how downward comparisons and idealized images of physical attractiveness impact the developing self-concept.
  • Also, consider whether this impact would be different across race and ethnicity.
By Day 4

Post a description of a time when you were certain your first impression of someone you had just met was accurate, only to discover subsequently that you were mistaken. Describe how social psychology theory explains this phenomenon.

 

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