Forum for Science, Industry and Business

Sponsored by:     3M 
Search our Site:

 

First 10 minutes after meeting may guide future of relationship

08.09.2004


Within just 10 minutes of meeting, people decide what kind of relationship they want with a new acquaintance, a recent study suggests.



The research, conducted with college freshmen who met on the first day of class, found that these snap judgments influenced what kind of relationships actually did develop.

While the power of first impressions has been well known, this research shows that the course of a relationship may be influenced much more quickly than was once believed, said Artemio Ramirez, Jr., co-author of the study and assistant professor of communication at Ohio State University. “Earlier research had assumed there was a cumulative effect that happens in the first few days of meeting that helps determine how the relationship will develop,” Ramirez said. "But we’re finding that it all happens much sooner than that – it’s literally within just minutes.”


Ramirez conducted the study with Michael Sunnafrank of the University of Minnesota, Duluth. Their findings were published in a recent issue of the Journal of Social and Personal Relationships. For the study, the researchers recruited 164 college freshmen. They were paired on the first day of class with another same-sex student whom they didn’t know. They were told to introduce themselves and talk for either three, six or 10 minutes.

After that conversation, they completed a questionnaire that asked them to predict how positive a future relationship with the new acquaintance would be for them personally. They were also asked to predict which type of relationship they thought they would share with the person in the future. They chose from these classifications: nodding acquaintance, casual acquaintance, acquaintance, close acquaintance, friend, and close friend. They also filled out a variety of other questionnaires examining how much they had in common and how much they liked the person they just met.

Nine weeks later the participants were asked questions to determine the type of relationship that had developed with the classmate they met during that first day’s experiment.

Results showed that how positively the participants rated a potential relationship with their new acquaintance on the first day of class was the best predictor of what kind of relationship actually did develop over the next nine weeks.

People who rated the potential relationship more positively tended to sit closer to their partner during class, and communicate more with that person over the course of the nine weeks. After nine weeks, they were also more likely to report a closer friendship had developed.

In fact, how positively people rated a potential relationship was more important than how much the participants said they had in common, and how much they said they liked the person at first meeting, in determining their future relationship. One important finding was that that results were the same for people who talked three, six and 10 minutes. “That tells you things are happening very quickly,” Ramirez said. “People are making snap judgments about what kind of relationship they want with the person they just met.”

People size up the possibilities of a relationship within minutes of meeting, and that guides their actions, he said. This follows what researchers call predicted outcome value theory, which states that when we initially begin communicating with another person we make predictions about the relationship’s potential and act accordingly. “It’s almost a self-fulfilling prophecy,” Ramirez said. “We make a prediction about what kind of relationship we could have with a person, and that helps determine how much effort we are willing to put into developing a relationship.

“If I think we could become friends, I’ll communicate more, tell you more about myself and do things that will help ensure a friendship does develop. If I have a more negative prediction about a future relationship, then I will restrict communication and make it harder for a friendship to develop.”

One result is that the person with the most negative view of a possible relationship will have somewhat more influence, he said. "Simply put, if I do not want to talk with you or escalate our relationship, it will be somewhat harder for you to overcome my resistance,” according to Ramirez.

Ramirez emphasized that the results don’t mean everything about a future relationship is set in stone within minutes of meeting. Obviously, events happen that can change the course of a relationship. And sometimes, people can change their minds about a person they met earlier.

But the study does show the power of the first meeting. “People want to quickly determine if a person they just met is someone they are going to want to hang out with, or date, or spend more time with in the future,” he said. “We don’t want to waste our time.”

While this study focused on same-sex meetings, Ramirez said it could have applications for dating as well. For one, the study suggests that speed dating – in which you have very short, timed “mini-dates” with a variety of people in one evening – may have real value. While some people have questioned whether you can really evaluate a potential date in just a few minutes, he said this study suggests people already do that.

“Romantic relationships probably are similar to what we found in this study – they begin with people making judgments very quickly,” Ramirez said. “We would like to study that in the future.”

Right now, Ramirez said he and Sunnafrank are studying what events may change that initial prediction about a relationship, either positively or negatively.

Artemio Ramirez | EurekAlert!
Further information:
http://www.osu.edu

More articles from Studies and Analyses:

nachricht The personality factor: How to foster the sharing of research data
06.09.2017 | ZBW – Leibniz-Informationszentrum Wirtschaft

nachricht Europe’s Demographic Future. Where the Regions Are Heading after a Decade of Crises
10.08.2017 | Berlin-Institut für Bevölkerung und Entwicklung

All articles from Studies and Analyses >>>

The most recent press releases about innovation >>>

Die letzten 5 Focus-News des innovations-reports im Überblick:

Im Focus: The pyrenoid is a carbon-fixing liquid droplet

Plants and algae use the enzyme Rubisco to fix carbon dioxide, removing it from the atmosphere and converting it into biomass. Algae have figured out a way to increase the efficiency of carbon fixation. They gather most of their Rubisco into a ball-shaped microcompartment called the pyrenoid, which they flood with a high local concentration of carbon dioxide. A team of scientists at Princeton University, the Carnegie Institution for Science, Stanford University and the Max Plank Institute of Biochemistry have unravelled the mysteries of how the pyrenoid is assembled. These insights can help to engineer crops that remove more carbon dioxide from the atmosphere while producing more food.

A warming planet

Im Focus: Highly precise wiring in the Cerebral Cortex

Our brains house extremely complex neuronal circuits, whose detailed structures are still largely unknown. This is especially true for the so-called cerebral cortex of mammals, where among other things vision, thoughts or spatial orientation are being computed. Here the rules by which nerve cells are connected to each other are only partly understood. A team of scientists around Moritz Helmstaedter at the Frankfiurt Max Planck Institute for Brain Research and Helene Schmidt (Humboldt University in Berlin) have now discovered a surprisingly precise nerve cell connectivity pattern in the part of the cerebral cortex that is responsible for orienting the individual animal or human in space.

The researchers report online in Nature (Schmidt et al., 2017. Axonal synapse sorting in medial entorhinal cortex, DOI: 10.1038/nature24005) that synapses in...

Im Focus: Tiny lasers from a gallery of whispers

New technique promises tunable laser devices

Whispering gallery mode (WGM) resonators are used to make tiny micro-lasers, sensors, switches, routers and other devices. These tiny structures rely on a...

Im Focus: Ultrafast snapshots of relaxing electrons in solids

Using ultrafast flashes of laser and x-ray radiation, scientists at the Max Planck Institute of Quantum Optics (Garching, Germany) took snapshots of the briefest electron motion inside a solid material to date. The electron motion lasted only 750 billionths of the billionth of a second before it fainted, setting a new record of human capability to capture ultrafast processes inside solids!

When x-rays shine onto solid materials or large molecules, an electron is pushed away from its original place near the nucleus of the atom, leaving a hole...

Im Focus: Quantum Sensors Decipher Magnetic Ordering in a New Semiconducting Material

For the first time, physicists have successfully imaged spiral magnetic ordering in a multiferroic material. These materials are considered highly promising candidates for future data storage media. The researchers were able to prove their findings using unique quantum sensors that were developed at Basel University and that can analyze electromagnetic fields on the nanometer scale. The results – obtained by scientists from the University of Basel’s Department of Physics, the Swiss Nanoscience Institute, the University of Montpellier and several laboratories from University Paris-Saclay – were recently published in the journal Nature.

Multiferroics are materials that simultaneously react to electric and magnetic fields. These two properties are rarely found together, and their combined...

All Focus news of the innovation-report >>>

Anzeige

Anzeige

Event News

“Lasers in Composites Symposium” in Aachen – from Science to Application

19.09.2017 | Event News

I-ESA 2018 – Call for Papers

12.09.2017 | Event News

EMBO at Basel Life, a new conference on current and emerging life science research

06.09.2017 | Event News

 
Latest News

Rainbow colors reveal cell history: Uncovering β-cell heterogeneity

22.09.2017 | Life Sciences

Penn first in world to treat patient with new radiation technology

22.09.2017 | Medical Engineering

Calculating quietness

22.09.2017 | Physics and Astronomy

VideoLinks
B2B-VideoLinks
More VideoLinks >>>