Most people believe that other people’s behavior is the reflection of their personality. But the truth is that it is more the result of the situation than their disposition.
First impression is the last impression. This is what I have been told repeatedly by so called “communication skill experts.” But the more I have read about psychology, stronger is my belief that it’s a naive generalisation. First impression being the last impression – is mostly incorrect.
Had I gone with my first impressions about some of the strangers I met in my life, I wouldn’t have found my best friends. If you look back in your life and trace the history of your relationships with your best buddies, many of you would tend to agree with me on this.
Whenever we meet a person for the first time we have a natural tendency to attribute his behaviour to his personality. If that stranger’s behaviour is cold and unresponsive, you immediately conclude that the person is either shy or introvert or perhaps arrogant. Whereas someone who seems warm and lively makes you believe that the person is an extrovert.
Sometimes you are right, but often you are falling for what is known as the fundamental attribution error, a phrase coined by Lee Ross, a social psychologist at Stanford University. It is the tendency for people to place an undue emphasis on internal characteristics (personality) to explain someone else’s behavior in a given situation rather than considering the situation’s external factors.
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