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What are first impressions based on? Why lab experiments don’t give the answer

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Dear colleagues,

 

Center for Socio-Cultural Research invites you to research seminar from series

«Culture Matters»

 

 

Bastian Jaeger

 

PhD, Assistant Professor, Vrije Universiteit Amsterdam, the Netherlands

 

 

«What are first impressions based on? Why lab experiments don’t give the answer »

 

Seminar will be held on October 28, 2021 at 15:00

 

Location: Electronic platform MS Teams. Please, register

 

https://docs.google.com/forms/d/e/1FAIpQLSczCpaXl79BwRJJpzWcnphqCX0jwVGWeHp8ipfDsfbSsy6wQg/viewform?usp=sf_link  

 

Do not forget to save the link after completing the registration form.  

 

 

Working language is English

 

Summary of the report

 

First impression based on a person’s facial appearance influence many important decisions, such as criminal sentencing, voting, and personnel selection. But what makes a person appear trustworthy or dominant? In other words, which facial characteristics do people rely on when forming first impressions? Dozens (if not hundreds) of studies have been published on this topic, suggesting that people rely on various cues, such as facial width-to-height ratio, attractiveness, emotion resemblances, pupil size, and many more. I will argue that the majority of studies on this topic suffer from two shortcomings: poor external validity and unclear causality. Crucially, both shortcoming can lead to the emergence of false positive results. I will present results from a study that uses methods from machine learning to address these shortcomings to uncover which facial characteristics are actually central in impression formation.