Personality Snap Judgements Research Proposal

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¶ … Personality

Snap Judgements. (174)

Sometimes one of the more troubling characteristics about the reality of human nature is that we often remember the worst things and gloss over the good things about others. This can apply to situations as well, but is certainly at the heart of inappropriate snap judgements when it comes to evaluating another human being. There is an old axiom that one is only as good as their last mistake, meaning that the one hundred possible good deeds done before had are wiped out with one single faux pax. However, that being said, snap judgements are part of an evolutionary characteristic to react to a perceived danger and in that case an appropriate response of fight or flight is undertaken. Now in our more civilized society we tend to use the inherent characteristic to form quick and often erroneous opinions about someone.Buy full Download Microsoft Word File paper
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Research Proposal on Personality Snap Judgements. (174) Sometimes One of Assignment

So for an experiment I was trying to see how often this snap judgement comes up within the course of a day. So I set out in the morning to see if I was making these with everyone I saw or was it just the people that I spent more time noticing. Turns out it was everyone that I came into contact with in any way shape or form, and I did not even have to really see them to make a judgment upon them. For instance as I was heading to school I was taking a turn I always make when someone just zoomed past me and I had to put on my brakes to avoid them. Naturally they became the devil incarnate yet I did not even know if they were a male or a female driver, they may have even been a nun or a priest or a rabbi for all I knew. They also could have been heading to a hospital or had some emergency. But none of those more altruistic motives came into my head. This lead me to believe that snap judgements are often more tied to emotional states than rational thoughts. The rest of the day I realized that anyone that came into my view I was making some kind of judgement about. Either the object of my attention was pleasing to look at or not, I quickly judged them to be annoyed or happy, or whether they had a lot of money or were broke, as well as if they were really full of themselves or did not care what they looked like and on. I was really surprised that many of these happen so fast that I was not previously aware of them until I stopped to listen to myself.

However, what is the difference between what is a snap judgment and what is a first impression? There is also the idiom that you never have a second chance to make a first impression. This implies that once received by the interviewer, potential mate, and so on the first impression sticks and is often difficult to shake owing to that primal instinct to snap judgment. This can also work in reverse. Someone may be able to give a great first impression and yet on follow up involvement it is found that they do not always stack up to their initial assessment. This has happened occasionally when I have met someone I was to work with and they chat me up and seem to be a great person and know a lot about what project we are to be involved with and so on. I am left with the impression that they are going to share an equal load of the responsibility and so on. In actual practice I have found that sometimes they are a no show at meetings and have often missed their deadlines and I am left holding the bag.

So it seems that while snap judgments and first impression are inevitable when dealing with human beings, the other idiom to live by is to not always judge a book by its cover. While these quick opinions are certainly valuable I have found that to reserve judgment based on longer performance is always best and not to base and entire relationship based on a single moment experience with a person. While my experiment proved that I make those kinds of judgments all the time it was also with people I had never met. What if I had come across them again? I am sure that I would have a hard time shaking those impressions at first.

Chapter 7: Types of Non-verbal Communication (208-216)

Sorry to be stuck on idioms but sometimes they are germane. In this case the phrase, a picture is worth a thousand words is certainly appropriate. Non-verbal communication can certainly convey in a moments glance and entire vociferous speech. One of the vagaries of communication now is the often misinterpretation of written words formats such as e-mails where one cannot see or even hear the sender to ascertain whether or not they may be serious or joking. This has played havoc with many a communication and shows what happens when words quickly chosen are not followed by the speaker's non-verbal cues. In a sense this is the depersonalization that the computer age has spawned. Although we now use "emoticons" such as smiley or frowney faces to display emotions, there is nothing like the personal touch when it comes to conveying meaning.

Gestures as well as vocal intonations (paralanguage) are powerful tools that we often do not realize we are using when talking to people. This is important since that unconscious behavior in non-verbal communication can also reveal a great deal to the trained observer. For instance the use of personal space (Proximetrics) can be very revealing as to the nature of the relationship between people. In public, very close proximations, touching, hugging, kissing is reserved for those who we feel, not surprisingly, closest to such as significant others, family member (in varying degrees) and so on. Friends are slightly more distant, yet sometimes within the 4-inch boundary, just not for as prolonged a time. Casual social conversation with stranger is usually fluctuates within and without the boundary level depending how relaxed the two people are with each other. Then the public distance where the possibility of touching is not entertained. Some people aver very standoff-ish and may maintain larger boundaries and some more touchy feely and maintain lower boundaries. These are also culturally subjective as is all non-verbal communication.

One non-verbal cue that I have great respect for in telling whether or not another person is interested in what I am saying or interested in me in general is eye contact. When I am talking and see that the other person is looking at their shoes or even worse, their watch, I know that it is time to cut it short. This is the same in a social gathering or when I have done public speaking. It is an excellent clue for interest level. On the other hand I have often had to use this as a tool when being interviewed for a job or internship. There have been occasions where I know my mind may have wandered, but I remember to make eye contact as much as possible during the exchange. More often than not I am usually successful at the interview phase using just this one technique. However, it can be inappropriate if it is too prolonged and can often be misinterpreted in other ways as well. Mutual gaze is one way when eye contact with someone can go either way, depending on the situation. A steady unblinking gaze turns into a staring contest and can often create hostile feeling in the other party. According to the chapter direct eye contact can be ant-social in certain cultures, such as in Mexico, Latin America and Japan. In fact it is a direct insult. This has to be remembered when dealing with people from that culture and that averting their eyes is a sign of respect and no lack of attention.

While the study in the chapter shows that there are six distinct facial expressions I would venture to guess that these are not as universal as one would believe. As shown in the example above, culture can play a significant influence on those expressions. That being said I would agree that there is some universality in smiling and laughter, and in crying and sadness. But I have been in situations where the other person was smiling all the way through a vicious personal attack on my performance while giving the impression she was trying to help me. So there can certainly be mixed messages in any of these non-verbal communication, especially if one has practiced them like an actor using an array of tools to convey the emotion of feeling they want you to have.

Regarding paralanguage I have noticed one aspect in myself that I have yet been able to control. This occurs especially when I am… [END OF PREVIEW] . . . READ MORE

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