Perception A Psychology Paper Essay

This essay has a total of 1176 words and 6 pages.


Perception A Psychology Paper





There is no second chance for a first impression. Perception has never been random, since
the beginning of time it has been human nature to judge others before really getting a
chance to know them. People immediately cast others into stereotypes in every situation:
they form a schema, or an organized set of thoughts about something containing properties
and uses. These schemas effect the way people carry themselves around others. Schemas are
usually formed with in eight seconds of getting the initial impression of a person. This
by psychologists is know as the ?eight-second rule,? where people have been proven to form
hypothesizes about others with in eight seconds of meeting or seeing an individual for the
first time. Human nature has never been stated more accurately than in one little phrase,
yet I have never fully understood the cliché until just recently.


As I sat here in the computer lab last week I noticed how I judge those around me.
Although she speaks nothing, I have already put together an assumption about ?the girl
sitting to my left:? her personality, work habits and attitude through a semantic analogy,
or forming a link between physical appearance and personality. Wearing gray pajama pants
and a comfortable fleece sweatshirt while holding a dark cloth blanket, I have understood
in my mind that she likes to be cozy and secure. She seems to be a girl with a very soft
nice voice, even though I have never heard her talk. As ?the girl sitting to my left?
uses earphones while at the computer, I put together that she probably is very considerate
of others. These assumptions could, for all I know is false and inaccurate, but as a human
being I realize my judgments on others. I came to this realization also while studying the
guy behind me.


Just as my other subject, ?the guy behind me? seems to be very ?uncool? to say the least.
His oversized plaid jacket, tight laced large sneakers, and tight jeans combining with his
out of control curly hair and spectacles allow myself to automatically place ?the guy
behind me? in a stereotype of nerds. The way he crosses his legs also leads me to believe
he is one of those that probably enjoy computers and Dungeons & Dragons, yet for all I
know this guy could be the best basketball player at Catawba. By his appearance I have
already made assumptions about his lifestyle, or formed something referred to as
Functional Association. After realizing the extent of judgement I cast on others, I began
to contemplate if others would place me in certain stereotypes if I didn?t appear as I do;
so, I decided to form my own experiment.


I decided to make myself salient, or stand out, to better see my impressions on people. I
began a three-day experiment where I would wear my not-so attractive glasses, a hooded
sweatshirt, and Velcro shoes from Wal-Mart to dress like one would call a ?bum.? Of my
many experiences of the weekend, three stood out from all the rest: my attendance at the
soccer game, my trip to the Bar Charlotte nightclub, and being introduced to new friends.


No girl in their right mind would dance with a guy with big ugly glasses. For we all know
they have already formed something called an illusory correlation, or a memory of a
negative or distasteful person or instance. Here I began to look at not only girls, but
also guy?s faces to see what sort of an effect my appearance had on the way they viewed
me. Sure enough I was getting looks of disgust from some, while faces of amusement from
others; here I began to realize the brutality of human nature.


First impressions are everything in today?s world. When dressed like a nerd with a
straight-billed, over-sized ball cap, a greasy hooded sweatshirt tucked in urkel-style
pulled up pants, I cast an impression to many spectators at this past weekend?s soccer
match. Many parents looked as though I was repulsive, some thought I was joking, while
others thought that it was my real lifestyle. Before I knew it I felt eyes from all
directions casting judgements upon me. I began to smile comprehending a little more about
perception of others, but I learned even more when my friend Katie introduced me to new
acquaintances.
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