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First Impressions Essay

First impressions are very important to every day life. They are the basis of how relationships start and how perceptions are formed. The opinions could begin many things and lead towards success or these opinions could be ones that are misleading and have a negative impact on how people relate to you. First impressions are very important on people’s social life, in your education and in employment. In your social life, first impressions come from your friends, family, and even new people who come into your life. First impressions on employment go from your current co-workers, boss, and former employers. They are very significant in job interviews. First impressions are important, but are not always the final word.

First impressions from the social perspective is the issue at hand, when viewing the importance of first impressions, and then taking in account the environment that one is in, then lastly viewing the important role that first impressions play throughout the course of a relationship such a friendship. The importance of first impressions is essential to the development of relationships be it for a friendship or just merely business acquaintances, the role of first impressions is resounded throughout the course of that relationships. How you are perceived has a very basic bearing as to how you are treated. Your outward appearance plays a pivotal role in the compiling of a first impression, when you are viewed by others, a snap decision is made about you that people will hold in their minds whether subconsciously, or conscientiously that first moment that they laid eyes on you. Also the way that you portray yourself comes into play at this point, your social skills are the main focus of the first impression after the mental image of you is implanted in the person’s mind.

Studies have shown that humans have developed the ability to quickly decide whether a new person will hurt or enrich us. First impressions or what are called “thin slices” are generated in the most primitive areas of the brain, where feelings are processed. It’s a very primal process and has evolved from our ancestors as a way to protect themselves. Applying both the thin slices theory, along with our own values and beliefs, it appears that first impressions are processed from the feeling part of our brains, as a way to protect or safeguard our belief and value structures. Research also shows that the power of knowledge to organize, select, learn and judge comes from values and beliefs as much as information and logic. Attitudes also enter into our calculations of first impressions. While subtle, they can cause real world damage, that’s why it’s imperative to nature relationships with others. People who spend time observing and listening tend to have a higher percentage of correct snap judgments. While first impressions can never be changed, we can allow movement in our processing and value systems. To contribute effectively to society we must evaluate who we are as individuals and how we form judgments.

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