Harvard psychologist’s take on first impressions

In the article above, I talked about Harvard Business School professor Amy Cuddy’s new book “Presence,” in which she says that people quickly answer two questions when they first meet you:

  • Can I trust this person?
  • Can I respect this person?

Psychologists, according to the Business Insider article, refer to these dimensions as warmth and competence respectively, and ideally, you want to be perceived as having both. Cuddy says that most people, especially in a professional context, believe that competence is the more important factor, since people want to prove that they are smart and talented enough to handle your business.

Warm, or trustworthiness, they say, is the most important factor in how people evaluate you. From an evolutionary perspective," Cuddy says, "it is more crucial to our survival to know whether a person deserves our trust."

Read more about what Cuddy says about first impressions, and how it may differ slightly from my article above, by clicking here.