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It is common knowledge that a positive first impression during a first date kind of scenario is an important milestone in determining whether either party will be interested in a second date. The latter is often a good sign that both parties are interested and perhaps a good template for a successful relationship. Can a first impression really be that powerful? A team of researchers from the McGill University set out to determine the dynamics around the first impression concept.

Previous studies reveal that first impressions are an important ingredient in forming friendships in a classroom or work environment. The researchers were curious as to whether the same dynamics are involved in a first date scenario. The scientists conducted a study in which they organized speed dating events and enrolled 372 participants in 2017 and 2018. The participants were also required to fill in questionnaires on their wellbeing and personality.

The findings of the study revealed that some participants managed to read the personalities of their dates accurately. However, one of the key observations was that some people were easier to read than others. Lauren Gazzard, A Ph.D. student and co-author in the study, noted that individuals who were more satisfied with life had higher self-esteem and wellbeing were overall easier to read.

What determines personality readability?

Scientists believe that some of the study participants were easier to read because they presented themselves and engaged more effectively. In other words, those individuals presented themselves authentically and did not try to be someone they are not. Scientists plan to dive deeper into this research to have a more accurate picture of what really goes on during first-date impression situations and how it culminates in a romantic interest.

A better understanding of the underlying dynamics that lead to a successful first impression might help many formulate strategies through which they can achieve more success in their social lives. In the meantime, strategies such as having a positive outlook on life and a positive self-image may go a long way in formulating an authentic personality that may be useful in a dating scenario.