21 Jan Here’s the science behind first impressions — and how to make up for a bad one.
First impressions are critical — even more than I ever thought. In the video below, Dr. Heidi Grant Halvorson shows the true importance of first impressions. I know I’ve taken them for granted a time or two, wait till you hear what she has to say about them (and how to fix it when we end up with our foot in our mouth)…
Image Source: Big Think
Dr. Grant Halvorson is a social psychologist and associate director of the Motivation Science Center at Columbia Business School. In a recent video for Big Think, she took a look at confirmation bias — what it is, how it works, and how to overcome it.
What is confirmation bias?
Confirmation bias is the brain’s tendency to seek out information that confirms our existing beliefs.
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Confirmation bias is something that affects us all. It’s why people typically consume news that reinforces what we already (think we) know. It’s why in the face of overwhelming evidence to the contrary, there are people who believe climate change is a myth or that vaccines cause autism.
But it’s the primacy effect that explains why our brains really emphasize the first information we receive about a person or topic. Kind of like the overzealous sibling of confirmation bias. It’s why our first hunch about someone or something tends to stick with us. Our brains don’t like feeling unsure, so they put a lot of weight on early impressions.
What science says
Thanks to the primacy effect and confirmation bias, first impressions get a whole lot of weight when it comes to how we perceive (and are perceived by) other people.
Dr. Grant Halvorson suggests finding a way to work with the person — for example, working on a group project where all people involved have clear responsibilities and expectations to help override first impressions.
Why? When someone else has a direct impact on our own outcome, our brains will naturally want to make sure the first impression we got was an accurate one rather than simply sticking with that first impression.
Watch the video below to have a clearer grasp of confirmation bias from Dr. Heidi Grant Halvorson. Share this post to your friends on Facebook!
Video Source: Big Think on Youtube