Knowledge is power, yet new research suggests that a person’s appearance alone can trump knowledge. First impressions are so powerful that they can override what we are told about people. A new study found that even when told whether a person was gay or straight, participants generally identified the person’s sexual orientation based on how they looked — even if it contradicted the facts presented to them.
“We judge books by their covers, and we can’t help but do it,” says Nicholas Rule of the University of Toronto. “With effort, we can overcome this to some extent, but we are continually tasked with needing to correct ourselves.” The less time we have to make our judgments, the more likely we are to go with our gut, even over fact, he says. –Science Daily

Fiction Writing Prompt: Write a story where your protagonist makes a terrible first impression and has to overcome it to achieve his or her goal.

Journaling Prompt: What do you do to manage the first impression that people have of you? How important is it to you that people have a good first impression of you?

Art Prompt: First impressions

Non-Fiction / Speechwriting Prompt: Inform your audience of the tactics they can use to make a good first impression.

Photo Credit: Alex France on Flickr

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