Harvard Psychologist Explains How We Judge Others

Harvard Psychologist Explains How We Judge Others

“The answer is that we are not helpless in the face of our first impressions. They may bubble up from the unconscious – from behind a locked door inside of our brain – but just because something is outside of awareness doesn’t mean it’s outside of control.”
Malcolm Gladwell, Blink: The Power of Thinking Without Thinking

When we meet someone new, we form a sense of their personality almost instantly. We may be right. We may be wrong. However, due to our human tendency toward confirmation bias, it will take much more to change our minds than to validate what we already feel.

There’s no doubt that making a positive first impression is important. However, these assessments happen so quickly that it can be hard to tell what information goes into them. Are my clothes important? My posture? My smile? It’s hard to say what exactly it is that makes us like some people at first glance, and what makes us feel wary of others.

IN ORDER TO MAKE THE MOST OF A FIRST ENCOUNTER WITH SOMEONE, WE MUST FIRST UNDERSTAND EXACTLY WHAT ABOUT US PEOPLE ARE UNKNOWINGLY SIZING UP.


According to Harvard psychologist Amy Cuddy, it all boils down to two questions. In her new book, Presence, she explores first impressions through the following framework.

WHEN WE MEET A NEW PERSON, WE SUBCONSCIOUSLY ASK OURSELVES: DO I TRUST THIS PERSON? DO I RESPECT THEM?

THE FIRST QUESTION IS OUR WAY OF GAUGING SOMEONE’S PERSONAL WARMTH.


This is important from an evolutionary perspective, because humans are social beings. We need one another to survive. We need to know if this new acquaintance is someone who could be a part of our support system or not. Is this a person who is inclined to help me, rather than hurt me? Will they be empathetic to my struggles? Are they a threat? If I have a problem, will this person help me to solve it? Or will they exploit it? Can I lean on them? Can I believe the things they tell me? Would I be wise to let this person into my life?

THE SECOND QUESTION, BY CONTRAST, HELPS US TO MEASURE SOMEONE’S COMPETENCE.


Rather than focusing on social connection, this question emphasizes strength and intelligence. For most people, this is the more challenging of the two assessments. Rather than gauging if this person is willing to help, this question asks whether the person in question is actually capable of doing so. Do they seem sure of themselves? Is this person confident in their abilities? Do they know who they are? Do they like and respect themselves? Do they appear to be in control of their life and comfortable with their choices? Do they seem intelligent? Strong? Engaged? Educated? Well informed?

A SENSE OF COMPETENCE IS MORE DIFFICULT TO PROJECT THAN WARMTH. IT IS ALSO MORE HIGHLY VALUED.


Interestingly, however, all the competence in the world amounts to very little if the subject is not first judged to be warm and trustworthy. To make a good first impression in any situation, we need to exhibit both of these traits. It doesn’t matter if we are meeting our partner’s parents or interviewing for graduate school. The criteria remain the same. First, it is imperative to be likeable and trustworthy. Then, we can build a sense of competence and respectability. We need to be somebody who others can love, and can also admire.

As Cuddy herself explained, “If someone you’re trying to influence doesn’t trust you, you’re not going to get very far; in fact, you might even elicit suspicion because you come across as manipulative. A warm, trustworthy person who is also strong elicits admiration, but only after you’ve established trust does your strength become a gift rather than a threat.”

Source: I Heart Intelligence
Harvard Psychologist Explains How We Judge Others Harvard Psychologist Explains How We Judge Others Reviewed by Κατερίνα Παπακυριακοπούλου on 9:19 PM Rating: 5

2 comments

  1. i am giving this testimony cos l am happy My name is Mrs. Jessica Smith from Houston,taxes.i never believed in love spells or magic until i met this spell caster once. when i went to Africa early this year on a business summit. i ment a man called dr. Zuma Zuk.He is powerful he could help you cast a spells to bring back my ex love's, misbehaving lover looking for some one to love you, bring back lost money and magic money spell or spell for a good job.i’m now happy & a living testimony cos the man i had wanted to marry left me 3 weeks before our wedding and my life was upside down cos our relationship has been on for 2 years… i really loved him, but his mother was against me and he had no good paying job. so when i met this spell caster, i told him what happened and explained the situation of things to him..at first i was undecided,skeptical and doubtful, but i just gave it a try. and in 6 days when i returned to taxes, my boyfriend (is now my husband ) he called me by himself and came to me apologizing that everything had been settled with his mom and family and he got a new job interview so we should get married..i didn’t believe it cos the spell caster only asked for my name and my boyfriends name and all i wanted him to do… well we are happily married now and we are expecting our little kid,and my husband also got a new job and our lives became much better. in case anyone needs the spell caster for some help, email address [email protected] Great Zuma Zuk i thank you very much thank you in 1000000 times.. if not you i would have been losted and wasted thank you. please make sure you contact him for any financial difficulties okay.. What a powerful man such as Dr Zuma Zuk.. he is so much powerful..\\ email him for any difficulties.. [email protected] or whatsapp him via: +2349055637784

    ReplyDelete
  2. I want to say a lot of thanks to Dr.zack balo for bring my ex boyfriend back…I was in a lot of worry when my boyfriend gone away from me due to some misunderstanding.. I contacted Dr.zack balo that i need my ex boyfriend back and make him to love me more and make him marry me.. He did spell cast for me and now my boyfriend talking with me so nice and I got him back within 3 days and he told me that “I love you” within 3 days… now and he now love me so much… Dr.zack balo is God sent to this world to help people… I gonna get marry with my boyfriend by the ending of this month…… Anyone who want to get success like me please contact Dr.zack balo and his mail id is [email protected]

    ReplyDelete

Don't show again. Close

Like us on Facebook?