It takes less than 1/20th of a second to decide a man’s sexual orientation. You may be right or wrong but the decision is made.

Gay or not gay? Your mind is already made up!
Gay or not gay? Your mind is already made up!

Chances are you also see women with visible tattoos as being more promiscuous. Balding? don’t worry about it… shave your head instead. Then people will see you as more dominant!

Our brain handles a massive amount of data every day. We make many thousands of decisions, most subconsciously. In fact, if we had to think about them at a conscious level we’d be exhausted. So when we meet someone new, we rely on our own stereotypes – those people we already know, to help us judge the newcomer. That person you met – or saw on TV, with the thick glasses and the strong opinions? Clearly intelligent. So is this new chum with his thick glasses and convincing speech.

What is really surprising to any rational person is that these first impressions stick. It’s a case of ‘don’t confuse me with the facts, my mind is already made up‘! Even something as important as deciding someone’s trustworthiness takes less than 1/10th of a second.

Is it intuition or bias? An innate sense that protects us or prejudices built on experiences? Either way it’s called ‘thin slicing’ and we all do it. You might find this infographic from Business Insider fascinating. Just click on it to enlarge it.

Thin slicing... intuition or bias?

Thin slicing… intuition or bias?

What’s your take? Do you think our initial impressions are accurate and a part of our natural radar or are they simply another prejudice?

Infographic Source:  Business Insider