Are first impressions really accurate? 人們對他人的第一印像是否精準?

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你善於判斷他人的性格嗎?本文討論如何判斷一個人的性格,以及為什麼很難衡量我們是否善於判斷他人的性格。

字彙:first impressions 第一印象

Are you a good judge of character? Can you make an accurate judgement of someone’s personality based only on your first impression of them? Ironically, the answer lies as much in them as it does in you.

One of the first people to try to identify good judges of character was US psychologist Henry F Adams in 1927. His research led him to conclude that people fell into two groups – good judges of themselves and good judges of others. Adams’s research has been widely criticised since then, but he wasn’t entirely wrong about there being two distinct types.

More on that in a moment, but first we need to define what a good judge of character is. Is it someone who can read personality or someone who can read emotion? Those are two distinct skills. Emotions such as anger or joy or sadness can generate easily identifiable physical signs. Most of us would probably be able to accurately identify these signs, even in a stranger. As such, most of us are probably good judges of emotion.

In order to be a good judge of personality, however, there needs to be an interaction with the other person, and that person needs to be a ‘good target‘. ‘Good targets’ are people who reveal relevant and useful cues to their personality. So this means ‘the good judge’ will only manifest when reading ‘good targets’. This is according to Rogers and Biesanz in their 2019 journal entitled ‘Reassessing the good judge of personality’. “We found consistent, clear and strong evidence that the good judge does exist”, Rogers and Biesanz concluded. But their key finding is that the good judge does not have magical gifts of perception – they are simply able to “detect and utilise information provided by the good target”.

So, are first impressions really accurate? Well, if you’re a good judge talking to a ‘good target’, then it seems the answer is ‘yes’. And now we know that good judges probably do exist, more research can be done into how they read personality, what kind of people they are – and whether their skills can be taught.

字彙表

good judge of character 善於判別性格的人
judgement 判斷
ironically 具有諷刺意味地
lie in (the answer/solution) (答案、解決方法)在於
identify 識別
fall into 分為
distinct 截然不同的,差別明顯的
read (personality) 讀懂(個性)
generate 產生
identifiable 很容易識別的
accurately 精準地
interaction 互動
good target 可判讀的 “好目標”
reveal 透露
relevant 相關的
cue 暗示,線索
manifest 顯現出來
consistent 一致的
perception 感知能力
detect 發現
utilise 利用
provide 提供

測驗與練習

1.  閱讀課文並回答問題。

1. Who was one of the first researchers to try and find out if good judges of character exist?

2. True or False? Reading personality and reading emotion are the same thing.

3. Why are most of us probably good judges of emotion?

4. True or False? It’s possible to be a good judge of personality just by looking at the other person.

5. How does a ‘good target’ help make a good judge of character?

2.  選擇意思恰當的單字或片語來完成下列句子。

1. A dog can _______ its owner by their scent alone.

identify                         generate                         target                       manifest

2. It is _______ believed that adults need between seven and nine hours of sleep a night.

ironically                      as such                           widely                       accurately

3. The new factory will _______ many new jobs.

identify                         fall into                           reveal                        generate

4. Stop talking about that! It’s not _______ right now.

distinct                         identifiable                      relevant                    consistent

5. The human ear cannot _______ certain sounds.

manifest                       detect                             utilise                        provide

答案

1. 閱讀課文並回答問題。

1. Who was one of the first researchers to try and find out if good judges of character exist?
It was Henry F Adams in 1927.

2. True or False? Reading personality and reading emotion are the same thing.
False. They are two distinct skills.

3. Why are most of us probably good judges of emotion?
Because emotions can generate easily identifiable physical signs that most of us are probably able to accurately identify.

4. True or False? It’s possible to be a good judge of personality just by looking at the other person.
False. There needs to be an interaction with the other person, and that person needs to be a ‘good target’.

5. How does a ‘good target’ help make a good judge of character?
The ‘good target’ will give useful cues and information about their personality, and the good judge will detect and utilise them. A good judge of character cannot be successful without a ‘good target’ to read.

2.  選擇意思恰當的單字或片語來完成下列句子。

1. A dog can identify its owner by their scent alone.

2. It is widely believed that adults need between seven and nine hours of sleep a night.

3. The new factory will generate many new jobs.

4. Stop talking about that! It’s not relevant right now.

5. The human ear cannot detect certain sounds.