- Watch for an occasion when you come in contact with someone you don’t know. Using this person/occasion as an example, reflect on the following questions and actions. (You may wish to review these questions in advance of such an occasion.)
- When you see a person for the first time and are forming an initial impression, what information do you use?
- Into what groups do you place people you meet? What attributes do you apply to these groups? What does the environmental context have to do with your initial impression?
- In what ways do you integrate the information you use to form your first impression: the group identification and that group’s attributes, the environmental context and what you already know, your emotions, your biases, consistencies or inconsistencies, and the schemas you developed from past experiences?
- What are the goals you have for meeting this person?
- Apply elements of any of the causal attribution theories to this person/occasion.
- How accurate do you think this first impression is?
The assignment (1–to 3 pages):
- Select one person in each of the following two categories:Briefly describe each person, your goal for meeting each when you did, and your impression of each, including a description of how each behaved.
- A person you do not know and who you probably will not see again (clerk at the grocery story, etc.)
- A person you have known for some time, and for whom you can remember your first impressions (acquaintance, friend, spouse, etc.)
- Briefly describe each person, your goal for meeting each when you did, and your impression of each,including a description of how each behaved.
- Based on the Learning Resources, analyze the kinds of information and the processes that were important in forming your impression of each person.
- Describe the schema, prototype, and exemplars that contributed to the forming of your impression in each case.
- Apply elements of causal attribution theories and concepts to explain each person’s behavior