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First impressions

Folk wisdom sometimes balances one statement with another. For instance, it is said 'You never get a second chance to make a first impression'. However, you are also told, 'Don't judge a book by its cover'. These two proverbs appear to be opposed to one another. Does this mean that one of them is wrong? Think about how we apply them, though; a 'first impression' necessarily requires more than one person. On one hand, the person judging stands in a different place than the one being judged. On the other hand, both parties are likely judging and being judged at the same time. How can these two pieces of apparently contradictory advice inform one another as a relationship is forged? In this Discussion, you will consider the importance of first impressions and their role in establishing relationships.

Question: Consider this statement: 'First impressions are the most important factor in developing human-to-human interaction'. Discuss the truth of this statement. Include both positive and negative aspects of the statement and how these factor into its overall applicability. Provide examples to support your position.

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First, it's imperative for (you) to understand that humans are products of their environment. Many biases that are commonplace are a result of what a person has been exposed to during their life experiences throughout their childhood, adolescence, and adulthood. This is important to note because first impressions are always going to involve some form of bias as a result of the person's perception of race, gender, or previous experiences that the person has had with similar individuals from the same category. Nevertheless, the ability for someone to make a good first impression is still often available despite any biases that might exist with the person who is judging the person. Some experts believe that because of preconceived biases, people should strive even harder to make a good first impression, because if the first impression is not good, the person who is judging the person will be able to validate their initial prejudices. Therefore, it's argued that first impressions are extremely important for areas concerning opportunities for advancement such as business, recruiting, and even admissions to prestigious schools, because the adage that you only get one chance to make a good first impression is often true due to the aforementioned biases that exist in (all) people.

There are even arguments based upon evolutionary science that promulgates the need for humans to quickly ascertain a new situation, person, encounter, etc. as this has been important for survival throughout history. Proponents of the first impression school of thought believe that first impressions are central to the human existence, and because of this, humans often quickly determine if a person is "up" to their standards within the first few seconds of meeting the person. In reference to importance, proponents of the first impression school of thought believe that first impressions set the stage for all future interactions, conversations, relationships, and business encounters. Quintessentially, this theory posits that first impressions are important whether in face-to-face encounters, over the telephone, on the internet, or in any other medium where the person's first encounter will determine how they are judged by others. Therefore, the hypothesis is that for success in business or life, people will need to ensure that their first impression is the best impression because this is the impression that will stick with the person who is judging, and it will be almost impossible to change.

In reference to the truth or accuracy of the statement that first impressions are the most important factor in developing human-to-human interaction, it is subjective to interpretation as proponents for this ideology will lead a person to believe that within the first 30 seconds, the person will either leave a negative or positive first impression with potential clients or fellow professionals. This train of thought is supported by many in ...

Solution Summary

This solution discusses first impressions.

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