The Effects of First Impressions on Predicting Honesty Outcomes Using Audiovisual Integration




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People automatically and unconsciously process first impressions of faces and voices during social interactions. There are consequences to our first impressions because they can influence and predict a variety of societal outcomes including dating choices, voting behaviors, job interview success, and judicial court rulings. The implications of first impressions also affect perceptions of honesty. As a result, the first impressions we form influence how we evaluate honesty. Perceptions of honesty involve evaluations of how honest, truthful, or deceptive someone appears in a situation. In first impression research, perceptions of honesty (i.e., honesty evaluations) usually focus on high-stakes honesty judgments (e.g., judicial case rulings, police lineups, and police investigations). However, the effects of first impressions on perceptions of honesty are present in our daily social interactions and affect mundane aspects of our lives. For example, in our daily social interactions, we form first impressions of individuals, and this affects how we perceive the honesty of these individuals’ opinions, preferences, excuses, or ideas (i.e., low-stakes honesty evaluations). The first goal of this project was to examine whether instantaneous first impression judgments of trustworthiness and dominance predict honesty outcomes in a low-stakes situation. The results suggest that initial perception of trustworthiness predicts honesty evaluations but only during shorter durations of honesty evaluations. Thus, if participants are presented with longer durations to evaluate honesty, initial trustworthiness ratings do not predict honesty outcomes. The second goal was to examine the early stages of first impression trait judgments and honesty evaluations using thin slices (i.e., 8 and 15-second clip excerpts from video and audio). A minimum of 8 seconds was chosen to give participants enough time for top-down processing and in return, they will have enough information to be able to evaluate honesty. A maximum of 15 seconds was chosen to give participants extra time to process stimuli but not too much time so that there is less risk of attention loss. The results suggest that when participants are given more time to evaluate honesty and trustworthiness the judgments are more positive, which supports the truth-bias theory. The third goal was to examine whether face and voice cues significantly influence perceptions of trustworthiness (video) and dominance (audio), respectively. Results were consistent with earlier findings that suggest voices are linked to dominance. Videos of individuals describing a movie they liked or disliked that are consistent or inconsistent with their true opinion were used.



Psychology, Cognitive