Ever wonder what drives you to engage or stay away from someone without interacting with them first? Or maybe you felt someway about something, and you couldn't pinpoint the exact reason why.
The incredible mechanics behind this has everything to do with our ever-growing brain and gut connection, which has evolved over millions of years of survival. This thought process remains part of our underlying ability to making a snap decision about how trustworthy a situation or person can be. It helps us read body language, find friends, distinguish enemies, avoid strangers by perceiving a possible story based on personal experiences and societal views.
Three primary parts of the brain that work in any given combination influencing each other are:
1. The Reptilian Brain - This fundamental, compulsive, and most primitive part of the brain, instantly classifies your subject as a danger, fear, sex, shelter, food, friend or enemy.
2. The Limbic Brain - Connects, memories, associates past experiences, and unconsciously, influences our behaviors and motivations.
3. The Neocortex - Is the learning part of the brain which enables language, abstract thought, imagination, reasoning, and planning.
Bring these three together at a computing speed of 38 thousand trillion operations per second, followed by your gut instinct, and you reach your snap judgment point.
But are snap judgments a good or bad thing?
It's not a question of it being a bad or good thing. Ultimately snap judgments are part of our age-old survival system. It's only a bad thing when your unjustified or incorrect attitude towards a subject based on a pre-conceived notion limits a possible opportunity for you or leads to unwanted stereotypical behavior in today's society. Our brains have been developing for over ten million years, and peoples assumptions about each other are on different levels. Some people are well thought out and react more on the limbic and neocortex side of the brain, while others act on the limbic and more compulsive reptilian brain.
By way of initial presentation, we all project a story, that by default, most people categorize with their most current social world view and past experiences.
Understanding the process behind human thought lets us assess and prepare for opportunities as well as the needs of others. We simply cannot ignore the power of first impressions, and how very day our image influences people around us, whether it is private or professional life.
Always remember that first impressions can change your life!