Hey, nice to meet you?

Students discuss the impact of first impressions


Strong Connection: Benny Caruso (12) and Evan Hiebert catch up in Amy Ostdieks’ English class, taking the chance to strengthen their bond. “I definitely pay attention to people’s first impressions,” Caruso said. “But if I get a bad vibe, I definitely would remember that.”

Lexie Minard, Reporter

According to a Princeton research study, attractiveness, likeability, trustworthiness, competence, and aggressiveness are determined in 100 milliseconds, which is a tenth of a second. 

First impressions have an impact on everyone. First impressions can be make or break moments for human beings. First impressions last beyond the actual moment of first meeting someone. This is because it is in human nature to make judgments of other people based on their attractiveness, attitude, body language and much more.

According to a Princeton research study, “Judgments made after a 100-ms exposure correlated highly with judgments made in the absence of time constraints, suggesting that this exposure time was sufficient for participants to form an impression.”

According to the Association for Psychological Science, first impressions show in a person’s reaction and also in their opinions. The person may be completely unaware of some of these judgements because they are implicit, meaning the impression is formed without awareness. Implicit impressions are hard to change because the person is unaware that those impressions were formed. 

“I think someone’s attitude [is an important factor], like if they’re super positive, or like if they’re overly negative [matters a lot to me],” Elena Ware (11) said. 

Not only are first impressions hard to change, some may also be nervous or excited to meet new people during first impressions.   

“When I first meet people I’m pretty nervous to talk to them,” Kyra Frazee (11) said. “I don’t actually exactly know what to say but after I talk to them for five minutes I feel pretty comfortable around them.” 

After the first impression there is more to come. However, do people remember that first impression?

“Not long term, [I don’t remember first impressions matter], I think that initially you don’t have anything to go on,” Brian Martin, English teacher said.

Not only do people get first impressions of you, you will form first impressions of others and look for certain things that matter to you. 

“I look for friendliness, somebody that is easy to talk [and] carries the conversation,” Benny Caruso (12) said. “Somebody who is sociable, somebody who is kind and easy to talk to.”

Not only does body language and your “vibe” go into a first impression, age can be a factor as well.

“I’m at the right age now, like when I was younger people who always judge me for being 14 or 15,” Frazee said. “They would be weird around me but now it’s normally fine, [around adults].”

First impressions matter based on how people react around others. Some people are shy while others are outgoing and talkative or sometimes both.

“I think I’m a mix, it depends on who I am around and what kind of situation it is,” Ware said. “With friends of friends, I’m pretty outgoing because I like getting to know people, who I already know are nice, but if it’s people I really don’t know, I can be kinda introverted.”

To wrap it up, different people have different thoughts and opinions on first impressions. 

“I think first impressions are important because it tells you a lot about who the person is and how they’re going to act the more you get to know them,” Frazee said. 

Whether you pay attention to body language, positivity, timeliness, and much more, do first impressions matter to you?