The Hub of Being (43-1) First Impressions

 First Impressions

We look at a person and immediately a certain impression of his character forms itself in us. Such impressions form with remarkable rapidity and with great ease. ~ Solomon Asch

American social psychologist Solomon Asch determined that the impressions formed when meeting someone is a Gestalt-like process, in that details of observation and conversation effortlessly meld into a summation. Asch found that first impressions form abstractly and holistically rather than concretely and piecemeal.

The situation in which acquaintances are made affects the impressions formed via construed psychological distance.

When forming impressions, psychological distance affects whether perceivers construe behavioral information about another person relatively concretely (e.g., how a behavior was performed) or relatively abstractly (e.g., why a behavior was done). The behaviors of distant individuals are especially likely to spontaneously elicit trait inferences. ~ American psychologists Randy McCarthy & John Skowronski

Implicit psychological distance subtly shapes expectations about another person’s behaviors and their consistency.

People expect distant (relative to near) individuals to behave in a manner that is especially consistent with their inferred dispositions. ~ Randy McCarthy & John Skowronski

In the present electronic age, within an increasing number of contacts made at a geographical remove, it may take mental effort to close the psychological distance and consider long-distance acquaintances and attendant impressions of them with an appropriate construal level.

Placing individuals into a more abstract construal mind-set influences stereotyping. ~ American social psychologist Sean McCrea et al