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First impression is an immediate judgment that a person usually develops. It is human nature to make judgment of an individual or a scenario at a single glance. This is because the brain receives the first-impression pictures, creating an amalgam of every signal coming from a new incident. It always takes us few seconds to judge a stranger. Physical appearance and behavior comprising voice, body language, and mannerism play an important role in first impression formulation (Ambady.N. & Skowronski J. 2008).
Demarais (2005) argues that, first impressions are created when an individual view others for the first time, and he or she describes the individual personality based on those views. First impression plays a significant role in human interaction since they dictate how people predict reactions from others. First impression also affects how individuals relate among themselves, and how relationships are created.
Every time we encounter a new person, we create pre-judgments on them. These opinions can be accurate or false. Some individuals trust their immediate impression about another person's personality because they are confident that their judgments are always correct. Other individuals always take time to judge another person's personality because they believe immediate impressions are often wrong.
Accurate judgment is that judgment that is accepted upon by others and matches to a principle. An agreement in judge evaluations is required because of people differences between judges. A judge perspective is very significant part in the judgmental procedure because an individual is not observed in the similar way by everyone (Demarais & White 2005).
Gender, person's beliefs, expectations, person's cultural background, and the mood of the judge have an impact of how impressions are created. From a person standpoint, it is not easy to get general laws of initial impressions. Depending on whom the individuals are, every individual will judge others differently (Ambady & Skowronski,2008).
First impressions are not accurate in determining a person's character
First impression is very significant and it often improves individuals influence. Although the initial impression can inform something about an individual's personality, it is not that dependable. According to me, I cannot judge an individual's personality immediately from the initial impression because they are always misleading.
It is always hard to judge an individual's character by his/her appearance. That is, the look is not often reliable. For instance, my class mate is a pretty lady who seems appealing. I thought she was a good hearted and ready to assist others. This was not the case, after interacting with her for some time, I realized she was a drug addict and does not relate well with other people.
Judgments from initial impressions are always too hasty. Evaluating an individual's personality should be carefully done because it often affects more than two parties. With various culture backgrounds, various individuals have different impressions on a particular individual. For instance, suppose you believe that, a lady with a short skirt is naughty, while I believe that she is energetic and open-minded. Without further observation we cannot convince each other about our views. (Frankel E. e.tal. 2005).
First impressions are often made on reason and they are not trustworthy. For instance, in an employment meeting, a lady can be neatly dressed and displays much respect to each individual. In fact she pleases each one for the job. However, further interview reveals that, she is not considerate. In this case, more contacts provide us with more precise information about her personality.
Frankel (2005) argues that, our first impressions are always made under many factors. We can make our first impression depending on the circumstances in which the individual is experiencing. The situations always control an individual behavior. This behavior is because of a number of emotions developing.
There are a number of stuffs that stimulate a person's emotions, to be happy, miserable, energized, or boring. An individual cannot be in such situations all the time. For instance, the first time I knew my brother in-law, he appeared to me as a very reserved individual. But later I discovered that, he gave that kind of impression because it was his first time to come to our home. He is actually a very social gentleman (Ambady& Skowronski,2008).
A person position can also force them to display other personalities or provide a wrong impression about them. Responsible people or literally powerful individuals, often display that they are harsh, sedate and obstinate. But if we view them closely, we will realize that those are not there personality, they are just images to make other people respect them or fear them. For instance, it is very hard for citizens to know the real characters of their president because this position forces an individual to adopt certain behaviors to be respected by the society.
According to Ambady (2008), our first impression can be affected by meeting proposal. Normally an individual will provide wrong impression about them in order to get what they really want. For instance, regularly and repeatedly, all the couples tend to portray a good impression about them at their first meeting. The lady will try to show that she is kind and sweet, while the gentleman will try to show that he is tolerant and elegant. However, when they get married they discover their real characters.
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We are not supposed to trust a person's first impression, whether he or she displays good or bad impression. A person's real character can only be known after some time. That is when we can be sure about the person's first impression. Therefore, however much we trust the way we judge a person's character at a glance, we should never determine an individual character by his or her first impression.
An individual appearance and attitude that is originally fixed in our mind is always influenced by the mental status of that individual. Thus, their character might be different from what they display at that time. For instance, my girlfriend seemed to be a dull and arrogant lady with a variety of sharp-tongued and flat words when we met at the first time. After sometime, I discovered that her disappointment feeling due to bad news within her family made her to behave like that. Genuinely, with time, she showed her modest and sensitive personality that made me to love her more. Since that time, I strongly believe that a person's character cannot be determined by his or her first impression.
An individual appearance and attitude can also be affected by the social environment within which he or she stays or work. For example, my father is a lecturer and he is recognized as very strict individual person in his university. However, at home, he is a gentle father. Some of his previous students visited him at home and accepted that their initial judgment about my father's character were wrong. Therefore, in my view, to judge an individual personality, you have to stay with him or her for a long time and in different environments.
First impressions are accurate in determining a person's character
Drawing conclusions about an individual's personality based on his or her first impression is always correct and accurate. You can gauss the rest of an individual's character after you have seen his or her initial behavior. In most cases the gausses will be true, since human beings tend to reveal their true characters in front of strangers. For instance, if you observe a man beating his girlfriend, because the lady was five minutes late, you may not desire to meet this man, but you will consider him as a jerk you never want to associate with.
First impressions are very important in determining a person's character. For instance, when we meet a person for the first time, we always look at their clothes, their physical appearance, and their gestures. This is always enough to place the person in a given category. If an individual is putting on a suit and a tie, we always assume automatically that the person has a good job or he or she is wealthy. On the other hand if we meet a person in worn down clothes we always automatically assume that he or she is poor and lacks money. First impression can be extremely negative since it is like stereotyping an individual, when actually they could be opposite of what we observe (Collon D. 2005).
Attribution theory is another way that we appraise individuals. Someone's behavior is evaluated by his or her actions. For example, if a person falls then you may say this occurred because he or she is clumsy. Interpersonal attraction is also another way of evaluating an individual. This is whereby individuals appraises whether they will like somebody or not, according to their physical attraction, sameness, exchanges, and proximity. Attitude of the person, his or her unfairness, and discrimination, towards others, are other ways of evaluating an individual. Individual's beliefs or culture are also ways that people appraise each other (Morrison ,2005).
These factors are very important because they assist to determine individual's character. When an individual is able to appraise another person, he can determine what type of a person he or she is. First impression is very important in determining a person's character. For instance, when you meet with a person for the first time, and his eyes tend to wander, this is a sign of impatience or even dishonesty. Others also believe that it could imply irregularity in task performance. Those with steady eyes have perseverance and straightforward character (Dimitrius & Mazzarella, 2008).
First impressions are always accurate in determining an individual personality. Individual's personality can be evaluated by just reading the shape of their face. This could actually determine their traits. Faces are often interesting to view. They speak more about the person and they are in different shapes and sizes. For instance, individuals who have tough jaw line are said to be stubborn in nature. Cartoonists who portray characters who are stubborn in nature, always make sure they have a strong jaw line. Individuals with such jaw line are also believed to have power over others. The way an individual thinks of himself, can also be known by, the angle and level of his face (Deveraux, 2006).
Pride and prejudice by Jane Austin
According to Morrison (2005), Pride and prejudice is a simple book about judging a book by its outer appearance. This book follows Elizabeth Bennet life. She is an intelligent lady who thinks that she knows Mr. Darcy's character and despises him. The first time Elizabeth met Mr. Darcy, she felt like she knew a lot about him. She knew him as a proud, standoffish and rude man. It is after some time that she knew that Mr. Darcy had betrayed a family friend and interfered with her sister's romance. That is when Elizabeth learnt there are two sides to each individual.
Mr. Bingley, a rich young gentleman, was Elizabeth's new neighbor. Mrs. Bennet immediately chooses Mr. Bingley to be Jane's lover. Jane and Bingley started showing affection to each other, but Mr. Darcy, Bingley friend convinced Bingley that Jane was not serious. Bingley then started turning his interest elsewhere.
Meanwhile, Mrs. Bennet had arranged for Elizabeth and Mr. Collins to get married, mainly because she wanted her daughters to get married to wealthy individuals. But Elizabeth was not interested with the decision. Fortunately her father backed her up. Elizabeth knew that Jane and Mr. Bingley were getting on well, but she wasa annoyed when she discovered that Mr. Darcy was separating them. She then concluded that Darcy would be the last individual on earth she would be convinced to marry (Morrison ,2005).
After sometime Darcy and Elizabeth get into contact and Elizabeth started to realize that proud Darcy has another side. Darcy was indeed a good gentleman. The best man she had ever known. Elizabeth conclusion became clear when Darcy secretly rescued flighty Lydia, Bennet youngest sister, from a problem that was worse than death. Gradually Elizabeth discovers that her initial impression of Darcy's pride was well prejudiced. Darcy on the other had discovered that there were things in male to female relationships that wealth and class cannot control.
Modern critics often view Elizabeth as a pre-feminist brave woman, a woman who was liberated ahead of her time. But that was not the case. She stayed joyfully within the social limitations of ancient England, and she did not fight them. She did not desire a career. She admitted the unjust laws that would rob them their father's estate, since it had to go to a male relative (Morrison R. 2005).
Although first impression can tell us about another person's character, we should not rely in it and assume that it is accurate. Therefore, from all the discussions above, I safely conclude that first impressions are not accurate in determining an individual's personality. I prefer giving myself time to interact with a person for sometime before I could evaluate his personality. Talking and meeting with him or her for a number of times, under various situations, assist me to create accurate judgments about that individual. If you only rely on first impressions it might prevent you to realize several great people.