“First Impressions are Everything!”

What is a “First Impression?”

Whether its an interview, first day of school, or just going out into public you always hear the same advice, “First impressions are everything!” This can be the way you dress or the first words that you speak to someone, but the first impression someone perceives of you is almost immediate. Psychology shows us that one of the first things that we look for when initially introduced to another is similarity. When similarities are found between two, the common ground is one that sheds a positive light on the potential friendships (Psychology Today). This is an idea that finally has some research to back it up and show us that the first impression you leave to someone can be a detrimental factor in a future relationship with that person (abcnews.com).

The Study

At the Ohio State University in Columbus, a study was done of 164 college freshman that lasted over a 9-week period. The students were split into groups of males and females for the researcher did not want any romantic interactions to occur due to the blending of genders. The null hypothesis of the study is that the first impression that is made and the relationships developed in 9 weeks will have no relation. The alternative hypothesis of this study will be that the first impression that is made will have an effect on the relationships that are developed in 9 weeks. After being split into groups, the students were then randomized and paired with another student for periods of three, six, or nine minute conversations. Immediately after the conversation, researchers asked the students if they thought that there was a chance of being good friends and developing a relationship with that partner. The students then were watched over the 9 week period to check on the status of that friendship. Over the 9 weeks students were required to interact with other students that were also apart of the study (abcnews.com).

What can be found from the study?

After the conclusion of the nine week study, it was found that partners who had a positive outlook after the first impression had the strongest friendships throughout the group of students. This correlation held consistent whether the initial interaction was for three, six, or nine minutes, the difference in time held no barriers furthering the impact of initial interaction. In this experiment, the conclusions will show us that the null hypothesis is rejected due to the fact that first impressions do have an effect on future relationships that can be created.


The articles will go on to explain that there are some instances where a strong relationship can be built, even if the initial first impression was negative. This is just how human interaction works, sometimes first impressions are wrong, but nonetheless very important. A sudden judgement is made, simply by human nature, on the very first sight you may lay on someone you have never met before. The saying, in my opinion, continues to be true and it’s smart to listen to someone when they tell you, “First impression is everything!”




Photo 1: http://alltradestemp.com/wp-content/uploads/2014/06/impress4.png

Photo 2: https://pricetagss.com/wp-content/uploads/2015/08/first-impression.png

3 thoughts on ““First Impressions are Everything!”

  1. Rebecca Danielle Schneider

    I really enjoyed this blog because it is such a simple concept, yet such an important one. I am a firm believer that first impressions matter whether it is a job or a girl you bump into, who lives on your floor. I have been a camp counselor for many years and every time I go for the interview, I have to present myself to the best of my ability so they can trust me to be in charge of young kids. The study you provided definitely made sense with positive first impressions leading to strong friendships. However, the only issue with first impressions is that not everything is in one’s control. Like you said, they could make a mistake; we are only human. Or a person could have a lot in common with someone else or have a bias against someone for a particular reason; but these are minor third variables. You did a nice job at applying the concepts we learned in class such as null and alternative hypothesis. Here’s an article I found that provides seven nonverbal ways to make a positive first impression!

  2. Claire E Going

    Hi! This was a great post because everyone is concerned with first impressions going into their first year of college. The study conducted in your post seems more like a judgement based off looks of the people that were meeting, like the saying, “judging a book by its cover.” This is human nature, though, so this post is relevant because first impressions are a combination of judging a book by its cover and judging the other person’s character and personality after meeting them for only a short time. First impressions are important, but if one happens to go awry, I found this article on how to recover after a bad first impression. Apparently, it takes interacting with the person that you made a negative first impression with three more times before their opinion of you can be changed in their minds, so first impressions really are important, but not set in stone.

  3. Stephanie Ann Loesch

    This blog really appealed to me because I can recall many times in which people stress how important the “first impression” really is. I recently rushed a business fraternity and was told how important it was I came off to each member I met in order to receive a bid. I would say the “first impression” is especially important for job interviews and such ( as typically you get one shot). The study you analyzed is very interesting. However, more studies must be analyzed as this study could be a fluke or due to chance. First impressions are a subjective matter which can be difficult to measure. I did find a very interesting which concluded that a person tends to make their mind up about a person and form an opinion about them after a 100-Ms exposure to their face alone. Shifting from 100-Ms exposure to 500-Ms exposure of a person’s face resulted in the “first impressions” being more negative. It is amazing how quickly we ‘judge a book by its cover.’ I hope that like the people in your study, I can still form friendships even if my first impression of some people is not great.

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