Judgment by A First Impression Can Be Very Wrong

1183932_sad_girl As we have heard, first impressions are developed in the first 5-7 seconds in which an encounter is made. This is so amazing to me, as who can really know what you are really like in that short of time?

Sadly we humans do it all of the time.  We see someone and based on what we see we make a decision about the person, what is going on, what they are like, if they are nice or not,  etc.

The decision is made and then it is justified rather than the other way around, and usually the first impression most often is our final decision about the person.  We base our impressions most often by our sight first and then add in what we hear, if we hear anything at all.

I read an interesting story that was about how we think with our eyes first; see what you think about this.  A bank had a 30 second commercial telling people that this bank provided it’s customers with the information that they needed to make better financial decisions.

To illustrate how people used information to make good decisions the commercial showed an Everest rock climber preparing, studying maps and weather charts before making his ascent up the mountain.

The viewers apparently did not hear the words of the commercial at all, and they were repeated three times, “we are here to help you make better financial decisions.”   Because when the viewers were asked what the commercial was saying to the audience, they said “the commercial is communicating that the bank is strong.”

The producers were stunned, where did the viewers get that idea from? They saw a man carefully preparing a climbing trip and then an image that flashed on the screen for less that 4 seconds of the man rock climbing. The visual overwhelmed the verbal!  Pretty amazing to say the least.

Take notice as you go through your day as to how much you think with your eyes, it is pretty amazing.  I think the more we keep this information in the forefront of our thoughts it will help us to take a better look at what is in front of us and hopefully help us not make hasty impressions and decisions about those we encounter until we have been able to consider the verbal as well as the visual.

Good luck, this is a tough one, our eyes are quick and our mind is right there with them.  Step back quickly and give each person a fair evaluation.


19 thoughts on “Judgment by A First Impression Can Be Very Wrong

  1. It’s so funny how we can forget how our eyes can play tricks on us…and yet, they do all the time. I think first impressions are important – but so are second impressions, and if we don’t remain open to those, we risk our eyes fooling our minds over and over and over. Wonderful post Tina..thanks so much!

    • Thank you Mimi for your comment, it is amazing, I am always having to beat my eyes into submission, they are so quick to pick things out and then my mind chimes in to make a snap judgement. I guess it will always be a work in progress, as long as we keep heading in the right direction 🙂

  2. Tina – I was visualizing job applicants meeting an interviewer for the first time. In those first 5-7 seconds, their fate is sometimes sealed. What a great reminder about first impressions

  3. Pingback: Running, around in my head… – Lead.Learn.Live.

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