First Impressions

AutorKleinke, Chris Lynn, 1944-
PealkiriFirst impressions : the psychology of encountering others / Chris L. Kleinke
IlmunudEnglewood Cliffs (N.J.) : Prentice-Hall, c1975
ViideKleinke, Chris L. 1975. First impressions: the psychology of encountering others. Englewood Cliffs: Prentice-Hall.

The effects of physical attractiveness on impression formation are contagious. A study was conducted in which men were introduced while accompanied by either an attractive or unattractive girl friend. The men were later rated significantly more favorable in terms of their overall character and how likable they were if the woman with whom they had been associated was attractive. In addition, the men themselves expected to be viewed more positively when they were associated with an attractive rather than an unattractive woman. (Kleinke 1975: 9)
A surprisingly familiar note from numerous body language related or other folk-psychological books. Source: H. Sigall and E. Aronson, "Liking for an Evaluator as a Function of Her Physical Attractiveness and Nature of the Evaluations," Journal of Experimental Social Psychology, 1969, 5, 93-100.
Looks are important, but looks aren't everything. Even though attractive people are viewed mroe favorably on first impression than unattractive people, they are not necessarily happier or better adjusted. In addition, attractiveness has its primary influence in situations of first meeting. in sustained interactions we become judged more on the basis of who we are and what we do rather than how we look. (Kleinke 1975: 15)
This is how the author qualifies the superficial attitude of the previous pages.
In hostile or competitive interactions between people, gaze seems to accentuate unpleasant feelings. In friendly and cooperative interactions between people, gaze is often found to increase positive feelings. (Kleinke 1975: 21)
A simple yet imperative dictum.
As you have seen, most research has found touching to be a positive sign between people. A very different perspective is taken by Nancy Henley. Henley feels that touching can be viewed as a sign of intimacy and solidarity between two people only when it is reciprocal. Instances in which one person touches the another and the other (because of propriety or desire) does not touch back, on the other hand, are interpreted by Henley as an expression of interpersonal power. Observations of people in various situations confirmed Henley's hypothesis that higher-status persons (such as bosses, doctors, teachers) more frequently touch lower-status persons (workers, nurses, students) than vice versa. Henley feels that males are given more status in most of society than women and exert this status through the use of unreciprocated touch. (Kleinke 1975: 43)
Kleinke is here interpreting the author of Body Politics: power, sex and nonverbal communication and with a less immediate style than other authors. Henley's name is repeated way more than necessary and her interpretations distanced to a point where they seem like merely interpretations.
Courtship readiness is most clearly evidenced by a state of high muscle tonus. Sagging disappears, jowling and bagginess around the eyes decrease, the torso becomes more erect, and pot-bellied slumping disappears or decreases. The legs are brought into tighter tonus, a condition seen in "cheese cake" and associated with the professional model or athlete. The eyes seem to be brighter . . . women may strike their hair, or glance at their makeup in the mirror, or sketchily rearrange their clothing. Men usually comb or stroke their hair, button or readjust their coats, or pull up their socks.
This classic quote originates from A. E. Scheflen, "Quasy-Courtship Behavior in Psychotherapy," Psychiatry, 1965, 28, 245-257.
A wealth of information and beauty is waiting for us if we take the time to notice people more carefully. (Kleinke 1975: 77)
That is beautiful, man.
When confronted for the first time with a tape recording of their voice, most people react with immediate discomfort. People pay much more attention to the qualities of nasality, rasp, tone, and rhythm when listening to their own voice than listening to voices of others. At first, the feelings about one's own voice are generally negative. This is probably because we are not used to what we hear and also, possibly, because we hear aspects of our feelings and emotions that we had not intended to show. When we become used to hearing our own voice these things don't bother us so much anymore1. It is interesting to note that only 30 percent of average people can correctly identify their voices in a recording. Radio announcers and speakers who have a lot of experience in hearing their own voice are accurate in identifying their voice almost all of the time2. (Kleinke 1975: 90)
Something to this effect can be found elsewhere (e.g. Fry 1977: 94), but Kleinke at least marks citations: 1 - P. S. Holzman and C. Rousey, "The Voice as a Percept," Journal of Personality and Social Psychology, 1966, 4, 79-86. and 2 - C. Rousey and P. S. Holzman, "Recognition of One's Own Voice," Journal of Personality and Social Psychology, 1967, 6, 464-466.
A study of school principals found that they had a strong preference for hiring teachers who held beliefs similar to their own. Similarity in beliefs was much more important to the principals in making their choices than the amount of experience the teachers had. People making decisions on hiring undergraduate research assistants were also shown to base their hiring and salary recommendations on how similar the applicants' attitudes were to their own. (Kleinke 1975: 102)
The latter remark frightens me a bit.
Neither anecdotal nor "hard" data can convey the overwhelming sense of powerlessness which invades the individual as he is continually exposed to the depersonalization of the psychiatric hospital. It hardly matters which psychiatric hospital . . .
Powerlessness was evident everywhere. The patient is deprived of many of his legal rights by dint of his psychiatric commitment. He is shorn of credibility by virtue of his psychiatric label. His freedom of movement is restricted. He cannot initiate contact with the staff, buy only respond to such overtures as they make. Personal privacy is minimal. Patient quarters and possessions can be entered and examined by any staff member, for whatever reason. His personal history and anguish is available to any staff member (often including the "grey lady" and "candy striper" volunteer) who chooses to read his folder, regardless of their therapeutic relationship to him. His personal hygiene and waste evacuation are often monitored. The water closets may have no doors.
This colourful quote originates from the article on the famous Rosenhan experiment: D. L. ROsenhan, "On Being Sane in Insane Places," Science, 1973, 179, 250-258.
People thrive on positive evaluation and if there is any way for them to convince themselves that a compliment is true they will do so. Research has shown that people who don't see certain positive attributes in themselves will still be very much drawn to someone else who says they are there. The only exception would be when there is strong external evidence that the particular positive attributes don't exist. (Kleinke 1975: 115)
Seems true enough, even common-sensical.
  • P. Ekman, W. V. Friesen, and P. Ellsworth, Emotion in the Human Face (New York: Pergamon Press, 1972). GB


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