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Familiarity And First Impressions Essay

983 words - 4 pages

In “You Only Get One Chance”, journalist Jen Kim addresses the importance of first impressions and how people are categorized by others within seconds of meeting (2014). She goes on to say that first impressions are so strongly developed, that they can often make one ignore all information that is already known to them about that individual (Kim, 2014). Kim bases this assertion with research from the empirical study, “Familiarity increases the accuracy of categorizing male sexual orientation”, by Marco Brambilla, Paolo Riva, and Nicholas O. Rule, published in the peer-reviewed Journal of Personality and Individual Differences (2013). Kim decently reports the methods and results of the ...view middle of the document...

In reality, the study only provides evidence to theorize that a man’s sexual orientation can be misjudged based on a photograph (Brambilla et al., 2013).
Causal claims should be assessed by the study’s temporal precedence, covariance, and internal validity (Morling, 2012). Temporal precedence means that variable A must occur first and then variable B. In the popular press article, the meeting between two people occurred before judgment is made about one person by the other (Kim, 2014). The empirical study asserts that the viewing the photographs occurred before the placement of the men into a category as straight or gay (Brambilla et al., 2013). Covariance is when variable A causes a change in variable B, so that as variable A changes, variable B will also change (Morling, 2012). Jen Kim presents the covariance of her claim by saying, “…we can and do judge a book by its cover. And often times, we still don’t change our minds, even after we’ve read it,” (2014). Based on the interpretation of her analogy, even after one spends more time with an unfamiliar other (variable A), they still tend to go off the first judgment (variable B) made about the other person (Kim, 2014). On the other hand, the empirical study reports that the covariance is between the amount of time given to assess a photograph (variable A) and the correct categorization of that man’s sexuality (variable B) (Brambilla et al., 2013).
Internal validity is used to eliminate other explanations for the change in variable B, so that variable A is the only explanation for the change (Morling, 2012). The researchers were particular in controlling the internal validity of their study. They used only self-identified heterosexual, Italian male students with normal or corrected vision. All participants were shown the same set of photographs which included 45 straight and 45 gay men, and were asked to identify each of the men’s sexual orientation as quickly as possible (Brambilla et al., 2013). In the popular press article, the journalist does not...

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