Fooled by first impressions? Reexamining the diagnostic value of appearance-based inferences
Olivola, Christopher Yves, 1980- and Todorov, Alexander. (2010) Fooled by first impressions? Reexamining the diagnostic value of appearance-based inferences. Journal of Experimental Social Psychology, Vol.46 (No.2). pp. 315-324. ISSN 0022-1031Full text not available from this repository.
Official URL: http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.jesp.2009.12.002
We often form opinions about the characteristics of others from single, static samples of their appearance – the very first thing we see when, or even before, we meet them. These inferences occur spontaneously, rapidly, and can impact decisions in a variety of important domains. A crucial question, then, is whether appearance-based inferences are accurate. Using a naturalistic data set of more than 1 million appearance-based judgments obtained from a popular website (Study 1) and data from an online experiment involving over a thousand participants (Study 2), we evaluate the ability of human judges to infer the characteristics of others from their appearances. We find that judges are generally less accurate at predicting characteristics than they would be if they ignored appearance cues and instead only relied on their knowledge of characteristic base-rate frequencies. The findings suggest that appearances are overweighed in judgments and can have detrimental effects on accuracy. We conclude that future research should (i) identify the specific visual cues that people use when they draw inferences from appearances, (ii) determine which of these cues promote or hinder accurate social judgments, and (iii) examine how inference goals and contexts moderate the use and diagnostic validity of these cues.
|Item Type:||Journal Article|
|Divisions:||Faculty of Social Sciences > Warwick Business School > Behavioural Science
Faculty of Social Sciences > Warwick Business School
|Journal or Publication Title:||Journal of Experimental Social Psychology|
|Page Range:||pp. 315-324|
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