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Our Brain Makes 11 Major Decisions

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Written by: Sylvie Di Giusto

“Our brain makes 11 major decisons when we first lay eyes on someone else.” #TheImageofLeadership

There’s emerging science that links the seven-second rule to measurable brain activity. In 2009, neuroscientists at New York University and Harvard University identified the neural systems involved in forming first impressions of others. The findings, which show how we encode social information and then evaluate it in making initial judgments, also suggest that it’s not just one thing that people judge about us in those seven short seconds after meeting us, but at least eleven different factors. These include

  1. Socioeconomic level
  2. Education level
  3. Competence and honesty, believability, and perceived credibility
  4. Sex role identification
  5. Level of sophistication
  6. Trustworthiness
  7. Level of success
  8. Ethnicity
  9. Religious background
  10. Political background
  11. Social / sexual / professional desirability
     

Different contexts of the first meeting—professional, social, romantic— will rearrange these factors according to varying levels of importance. In the case of a job interview, the interviewer is not supposed to consider sex role identification, ethnicity, religious background, political background, or sexual desirability in his or her professional imprint of a candidate. These factors need to score zero. But other factors become hugely important, including competence, honesty, believability, credibility, and trustworthiness.

In contrast, if you’re introduced to a potential romantic partner, the imprint values will be rearranged. In such a situation, number eleven— social/sexual/professional desirability—will probably leap to the top of the list, along with sex role identification. If the person fails these two tests, nothing else will matter.And if you bring home your new partner to meet your mother, you know which factor will be number one…. yep, it’s probably going to be socioeconomic level (mothers tend to be pragmatic about these things).

Look at the mirror right now. What does your appearance let people think about you – based on those 11 factors?

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