People decide these 8 things within seconds of meeting you


First impressions really do count. In fact, there's a science to a good first impression.

Known by psychologists as 'thin slicing', people tend to make up their mind about various things within a few seconds of meeting you.

Research also suggests that those first judgments do tend to stick.

These are some of the ways in which you'll be judged the fastest.

1. Sexual orientation

It takes about a twentieth of a second to consciously recognise a face. According to this 2008 study, It takes about the same amount of time to determine whether you judge a man to be gay or straight.

While this may not represent as much of a problem in the UK, there are parts of the world where these snap judgments on sexuality could become extremely dangerous.

2. Dominance (in men)

Interestingly, one study showed that men with shaved heads were rated more dominant than men with full heads of hair: stronger, taller, and more powerful.

3. Promiscuity (in women)

Unsurprisingly, one of the first things women were judged on was there promiscuity - in relation to their clothes, their appearance, but also interestingly, to any tattoos.

This 2007 study found a correlation between visible tattoos on women, and perceptions of high alcohol consumption and sexual promiscuity.

Results also showed that tattooed women were considered less attractive, while blonde women were generally rated more negatively than brunettes in terms of sexual behaviour.

4. Trustworthiness

Princeton researchers found that judgments of competence, likeability, attractiveness and aggressiveness varied depending on how long the subject (person judging) looked at the object (person being judged).

However, the one judgment that stayed consistent was trustworthiness.

In other words, someone's already made up their mind as to whether they can trust you within a tenth of a second - and their judgment is unlikely to change.

5. Intelligence

This study drew a parallel between good eye contact and perceptions of high intelligence.

Looking while speaking was a key behavior. 

It significantly correlated with IQ, was successfully manipulated by impression-managing targets, and contributed to higher perceived intelligence ratings.

6. Social status

This from a Dutch study, which found that those wearing branded or designer clothing were seen as having a higher social status.

They based their hypothesis on "costly signalling theory" and found that evidence of luxury consumption benefitted social interactions.

The present data suggest that luxury consumption can be a profitable social strategy because conspicuous displays of luxury qualify as a costly signalling trait that elicits status-dependent favorable treatment.

7. Success

Similarly, a British-Turkish study showed that men in tailored, made-to-measure suits were judged as being far more successful than men in ordinary, 'off-the-peg' suits.

They were also considered to earn more money, have more confidence and be more trustworthy.

This gave comparable results to one Canadian study, in which photos of men in business attire were judged as more financially successful than those in casual clothing.

8. Confidence

A 2008 employability study concluded that people were more likely to get a job if they could impress with a handshake, because they came across more confident.

Similarly, your tone of voice could project whether you see yourself as high or low-power: reseach suggests that a lower, more dynamic vocal range helps appear more self assured.

Posture and good eye contact also contributed towards an impression of confidence.

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