Tuesday, May 12, 2009

Digital impressions

I keep an eye on the British Psychologial Society's blog most days. Not because I have any sort of knowledge or qualification in the area, but because it is one of the few blogs which daily uploads genuinely interesting and fresh information.

Yesterday's research post really caught my thought-glands, and I wanted to share with you.
First impressions used to be all about the first time two people came face to face. These days, first impressions are as likely to be formed via perusal of a person's website or Facebook page, as they are to be formed from actually meeting them. Now a study has compared first impressions gleaned from face-to-face contact and from Facebook pages, and found a close parallel between the two. People judged to be likeable via one medium were also judged as likeable via the other.
You can see the full post here, including explanation of the experiment.

For me it was good to see some scientific proof of what I find anyway. Being an online addict I am aware I make judgements as to someone's 'likeability' all the time, and that the judgements are made with very little info.

Someone useing an apostophe incorrectly, or writing in "txt spk" can immediately earn my condescension. Someone on Facebook who doesn't have any photos (who the research would deem 'unexpressive' online) is cold and aloof - they aren't getting involved with the fun.

Worth considering that the old adage of 'It's not what you say but how you say it" works equally well online as it does in person.

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