How We Judge Someone From A Picture Influences Our Real Life First Impressions


A recent study has revealed that the initial impressions we make of people from photographs strongly influences how we view them in real life.

Conducted by Gul Gunaydin, Emre Selcuk and Vivian Zayas from Cornell University, the study asked participants to judge a selection of women based on their photographs.

Participants then had to say how much they thought they might like each woman in real life, based on the images.

A few months later, participants met one of the women they were asked to judge for a 20 minute face-to-face meeting, which included a trivia game designed to help participants learn more about them.

Each participant was then asked to say how they felt about the person after meeting her.

And interestingly, the majority of those who thought favourably of the woman after seeing her photograph, also had a positive impression after the meeting.

They also tended to act more pleasantly towards her – they smiled more, gave off more positive cues and lent in more.

However, those who had a less positive impression after seeing the photograph tended to view the person less favourably after the real life meeting.

The researchers also asked participants to make judgements on their personality traits, such as “conscientiousness, agreeableness, emotional stability, and openness”, based on the photographs.

And perhaps surprisingly, the majority of people noted the same traits after meeting the woman, regardless of how accurate they were.

Simon Edmunds

Simon is the former editor of Global Dating Insights. Born in Newcastle, he has an English degree from Queen Mary, London and after working for the NHS, trained as a journalist with the Press Association. Passionate about music, journalism and Newcastle United.

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