When your mother use to tell you to put on your ‘Sunday best’, was that really for God or for the fellow church dwellers?
Time and time again I have been proven wrong, I look at someone thinking ‘oh they’ll be friendly’ and instead I’m met with a look as if they’ve been sucking lemons all morning. Whereas you run a mile from the local hooligan and perhaps they may be the ones to call an ambulance as you trip over the pavement on your escape from them. My point being, whether we like it or not we all judge a book by its cover. Biology has meant we don’t read between the lines, atleast not initially, and here’s why:
Blame our ancestors for all the sudden judgment and stereotyping. Putting it this way – with neurons devoted to visual processing taking up 30% of the cortex as oppose to 3% for hearing and 8% for touch. We really get a ‘feel’ for someone through our ‘eyes’.
But maybe don’t blame your judgmental self too quickly, for as ‘bad’ as it is to stereotype, it actually is a ‘good’ thing. Humans have to be quick in sussing out other humans out with immediacy – are they a threat or non-threat?
Some pre-conceived judgments we make
- A trustworthy face – Studies have shown that humans make a judgement on the level of trust they would have in another person just based on their face alone.
- The halo effect – We view ‘more physically attractive’ people as being ‘higher achievers’ across the board than people deemed ‘less physically attractive’. So if you’re hot then the world pretty much thinks you’re the next Einstein.
- The voice effect on leadership – higher pitched, slower speaking voices deemed to lack leadership qualities that a person of a lower-pitched and faster pace of speech would have. (When voices were the only thing to base judgement off of.)
- The uglier the criminal the harsher the prison sentence – the judgment bias on attractiveness when sentencing.
I love posts which make me feel all self-conscious about myself. I guess the moral of the story is blame science for our judgmental stereotyping selves! And know that beauty and ability are really internal qualities of ourselves.