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impression formation

Why Leading is (Almost) as Important as Winning

Running men
By definition, winning is better than losing. But being in the lead for much of a contest also leaves a surprisingly positive impression on spectators.

What’s in a Name? It Depends on What it Sounds Like

woman speaking, voice recognition concept
The sounds of the words we use to refer to objects and people can affect our impressions of objects’ physical characteristics and people’s personalities.

How Your Power May Affect My Impression of You

Business people discussing in meeting room
When do stupid behaviors mean that someone is stupid? New research suggests that, when people do stupid things, we are more likely to cut them a break if they are powerful than if they are powerless.

Friendships, Vaccines, and Impressions: Upcoming Studies in SPPS


While many scientists explore what people have in common, several studies publishing online to Social Psychological and Personality Science show us how differences help us understand individuals.

The company you keep: Personality and friendship characteristics, Michael Laakasuo; Anna Rotkirch, Venla Berg, Markus Jokela

Psychology News Round-Up: ICYMI September 14, 2018

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This week saw the passing of two greats in the field: John Darley and Walter Mischel. See what else you may have missed online.

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It’s Not What’s Good—It’s What’s New

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We make rapid, intuitive judgments of others frequently—but what happens when they turn out to be wrong? How do we update them? In his talk “Perceived Frequency Governs Impression Updating” at the symposium “First Impressions: When are They Updated? When are They Maintained?” Peter Mende-Siedlecki presented behavioral and neuroscientific evidence examining what information changes our minds about other people. 

Even Fact Will Not Change First Impressions

Austin -- Knowledge is power, yet new research suggests that a person’s appearance alone can trump knowledge. First impressions are so powerful that they can override what we are told about people. A new study found that even when told whether a person was gay or straight, participants generally identified the person's sexual orientation based on how they looked – even if it contradicted the facts presented to them.

Using Identity to Reduce Own-Race Bias

People often remark that people of a different race "all look alike.” However, when we have trouble recognizing people from another race, it may actually have little to do with the other person's race. Instead, new research finds that that we can improve our memory of members of another race by identifying ourselves as part of the same group.