“How to Make a Good First Impression: Research on Likability and Popularity”

We may not like to admit it, but we still sometimes wonder to what extent someone likes us and whether we are liked. Especially with a first impression. Researchers looked at which qualities aroused the most sympathy on a first acquaintance. And ‘being liked’ turns out not to be that difficult at all.

Psychologist Mark Travers refers in it American Psychology Today to new research Psychological Science. A study in which scientists scrutinize behavior when it comes to giving a good first impression.

Research on first impression liking

Researchers Michael Dufner and Sascha Krause explain in their research that people quickly judge each other during an acquaintance process. According to them, the extent to which we like or dislike someone is an important factor in the development of a relationship. But now the question remains: when do we like someone?

Their research found that two types of behavior lead to popularity at first meeting:

  1. Agent behavior – Where someone hopes to gain respect or admiration. What you can recognize as dominant or confident behavior.
  2. Common behavior – Where someone tries to establish a trusting and supportive bond. What you can recognize as warm, welcoming and friendly behavior.

Popularity or relationship and friendships

The researchers observed several introductory conversations and concluded two specific forms of sympathy.

  1. Popularity, the extent to which a person is liked by others.
  2. Unique likeability, the extent to which an individual is particularly liked by a specific person.

According to the researchers, neither form of sympathy is better than the other. Because popularity indicates that someone is socially accepted and respected in his group. And unique sympathy can define relationships and friendships.

Be nice

And from the above findings, the researchers drew their conclusions. For example, it turned out that Agentic behavior (confidence and dominance) and communal behavior (warm and friendly) lead to popularity. But when it came to unique sympathy (about the individual), mostly communal behavior was valued and regarded as ‘I like you’.

That’s a lot of material, but Travers summarizes the psychological findings again. Do you want to make a good first impression? According to the researchers, it is best to keep it simple. “Common behaviors such as friendliness, helpfulness or warmth have positive effects on being liked everywhere. In contrast, agenty behavior (dominance, impressing others) can backfire. So, be nice and the effect will most likely be positive,” said Travers. Lying is not considered nice behavior, by the way. Did you already know this trick that allows you to recognize a possible lie?

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“Do they like me?” This is how you make a good first impression, according to research

2023-05-30 14:02:03
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