Confidence key to weighing impressions we make

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Washington, Mar 11 (ANI): The art of understanding how we appear in the eyes of others is something which most humans have perfected. Now, in a new study, researchers have sought to determine precisely what triggers this ability, or, conversely, inhibits it.

To reach the conclusion, researchers at the Washington University in St. Louis (WUSL), worked together with colleagues from the Wake Forest University.

They determined that the main driving factor in this case is the level of confidence that each individual has in his or her abilities.

Psychologists at Washington University in St. Louis and Wake Forest University tested people in first impression settings in the laboratory.

Erika N. Carlson, a doctoral candidate in the Department of Psychology in Arts and Sciences; her advisor Simine Vazire, Ph.D., assistant professor of psychology; and Wake Forest University's R. Michael Furr, Ph.D., engaged some 280 students in opposite-sex pairings from both universities in five-minute conversation after which impressions (your rating of your partner's personality traits) and metaperceptions (your rating of how you think your partner rated your personality traits) were recorded on 60 personality items (such as nice, funny, outgoing), which were rated on a scale from 1 to 7.

Then the researchers asked a confidence question: How confident are you in your estimation of how your partner sees your personality?

"In the past, researchers hadn't asked whether you know when you're accurate in first impressions, nor your degree of confidence," Carlson says.

"We found that people who were poor at making good meta-impressions were less confident than people who made accurate ones. So, after making a first impression, if you're confident in your judgment, you're likely to be right."

The research was recently published in Social Psychological and Personality Science. (ANI)

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