what do we notice upon first impressions? agreeableness & dominance

You know how they say first impressions are everything? What exactly are these first impressions of? what are we registering initially when we meet a person? Research reveals that a person’s main initial (and also their subsequent) thoughts about other people they meet can be well described by two main factors:

(1.) Agreeableness : This is a factor of how cold/ warm-hearted a person seems

and

(2.) Dominance : This is a factor of how assured/ unassured, or dominant/ submissive a person appears.

People are judged by these 2 characteristics, falling somewhere along this chart:

Source of picture: Introduction to Social Psychology

Quite reasonably, people tend to pretty much universally prefer agreeable, warm people.

The level of dominance you prefer in your friends however depends on your own dominance level. People seem to prefer interacting with people who complement their own dominance
levels. Dominant people tend to enjoy being with submissive others and vice versa.

Sources: White, 1980; Wiggins & Broughton, 1985; Dryer
& Horowitz; 1997;
Introduction to Social Psychology

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