It Takes Seconds for People to Decide These 4 Things About You

Updated 05/04/19
Cindy Bruna Model
Getty Images

While we're taught to believe it's bad to judge others, there are certain subconscious judgments that are unavoidable. Psychologists call it "thin slicing," a term that describes the ability to find patterns and make judgments based on brief encounters. To delve deeper into the science of first encounters, Business Insider reviewed a range of psychology studies about the split-second decisions people make. According to its research, the way we walk, the clothes we wear, and our facial movements all inform the way we're perceived by others.

Here are four things people decide about you within seconds of meeting.

If you're smart

There's a simple trick to influencing the way you're perceived. According to Business Insider, looking someone straight in the eye makes you seem more intelligent. Research suggests wearing thick glasses and speaking expressively can help, too.

If you're succcessful

The clothes we wear speak volumes about social status and personality—even if it's unintentional. A British-Turkish study found that people who wear tailored clothing are perceived as more successful than those in loose-fitting attire.

If you're adventurous

Intriguingly, the way you walk sends a message to others. A Durham University study found that people with loose gaits are considered extraverted and adventurous. On the other hand, those with a short, fast walk are seen as neurotic.

If you're trustworthy

It takes just one-tenth of a second for someone to decide if you're trustworthy, Princeton researchers have found.

Dressing for a job interview? Shop these sharp, tailored picks to make a good first impression.

Double-breasted Crepe Blazer
Iris & Ink Double-Breasted Crepe Blazer $220
Amphora Mini Top Handle Bag
Carolina Santo Domingo Amphora Mini Top Handle Bag $725
Women's Relaxed Poplin Shirt by Everlane in Off White, Size 10
Everlane Relaxed Poplin Shirt $65

Next up: The simple trick to master a good first impression, no matter the occasion.

Related Stories