BOB HIRSHON (host):
Clocking first impressions. I’m Bob Hirshon and this is Science Update.
Like it or not, we all judge people by their faces: not just on attractiveness, but also trustworthiness, competence, and likeability. Princeton University psychologists Alexander Todorov and Janine Willis found that people made these judgments after seeing a face for just a tenth of a second, and that their opinions didn’t change if they were given more time. Todorov says it’s possible to override these snap judgments with objective information.
ALEXANDER TODOROV (Princeton University):
The question is that in many important contexts, you might not have the chance to collect the additional information. This is a potential problem.
What’s more, people sometimes make up their minds before seeking out the facts – in contexts ranging from singles bars to job interviews to elections.
I’m Bob Hirshon, for AAAS, the science society.