Why do we feel first impressions are so accurate?


It is widely held that first impressions are usually correct.  Why is this?  Once we form an initial opinion about someone, we naturally process future observations of that person in ways that support the first or initial impression. And, we unconsciously discard any observation that is in conflict with our initial observation.
I am suggesting that our subsequent experiences of people are simply biased by our first.  If so, then of course our first impressions are always correct.  Later impressions are fueled by the first.
I believe that first impressions are in deed not always accurate.  We are well served to keep an open mind in subsequent early experiences of others.  Rely more on a collection of experiences rather than a single experience.

About Matt Gorman

Life-long learner. Collaboration enthusiast. Avid cyclist.
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3 Responses to Why do we feel first impressions are so accurate?

  1. Carla says:

    You may not initially understand your first impression from a logical perspective. That doesn't mean it's inaccurate. Since you are most open during your 1st encounter with someone, it pays to give attention to every signal you pick up, rather than just those that make sense.Just my 2 cents.

  2. Matt Gorman says:

    Thank you Carla. Absolutely we shall not lessen the importance or doubt the accuracy of a first impression. We just need to be aware that it likely influences further impressions be it unconsciously.

  3. DC says:

    Let us not forget that certain first impressions also come with a degree of forgery. More often than not, it is the desire of the person making the impression to put their best game on in order to, of all things, make a good first impression and win over the other person. So basing the receiver’s overall “feeling” about that person on that first one, while it may not entirely be the most reliable, is still seeing that person in the best light, as originally intended. Nothing wrong with that 🙂 but whether the person holds up to that conviction, well, that’s another story.

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