Psychologists explore the outer limits of first impressions
By Cindi May
Cindi May is a Professor of Psychology at the College of Charleston. She studies ways to optimize cognitive functioning in college students, older adults, and individuals with intellectual disabilities.
Read this article at Scientific American to find out about recent studies analising the effect of first impressions on people’s judgement of others. Apparently most people’s first judgements of others by first sight appear accurate with the way those people see themselves. The shorter the time of observation becomes, the more errors occur in the attribution of characteristics and/or qualities from the watchers to the observed. Interestingly though, there is an odd consistency within the errant judgements coming from different viewers. People seem to rely on certain coordinates and use their intuition in order to form those judgements and, although they may be wrong, a large number of people are wrong in the same way.
Our behaviour is shaped by our thoughts and beliefs about ourselves and about the world around us. However, our behaviour is not stuck in one way for the rest of our lives. Throughout our lives, we learn to think and belief in a certain way, which makes us feel in a particular way. Those thoughts and emotions inform then our behaviour. There are times when we may feel the need to change or modify our behaviour. Providing the way we wish to behave is realistic, safe and achievable, we can train our mind to behave in a different, desired way. Hypnotherapy provides techniques which can help us rehearse the desired behaviour in a hypnotic state, thus encouraging the incorporation of the new behaviour into our subconscious mind. When this occurs, the new desired behaviour becomes part of our subconscious mind and can be experienced as our own. This can bring an exciting and satifying feeling of self control to our lives.