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 New study first to predict which oil and gas wells are leaking methane
21.12.2018 | University of Vermont

nachricht Droughts boost emissions as hydropower dries up
21.12.2018 | Stanford's School of Earth, Energy & Environmental Sciences

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: Nanocellulose for novel implants: Ears from the 3D-printer

Cellulose obtained from wood has amazing material properties. Empa researchers are now equipping the biodegradable material with additional functionalities to produce implants for cartilage diseases using 3D printing.

It all starts with an ear. Empa researcher Michael Hausmann removes the object shaped like a human ear from the 3D printer and explains:

Im Focus: Elucidating the Atomic Mechanism of Superlubricity

The phenomenon of so-called superlubricity is known, but so far the explanation at the atomic level has been missing: for example, how does extremely low friction occur in bearings? Researchers from the Fraunhofer Institutes IWM and IWS jointly deciphered a universal mechanism of superlubricity for certain diamond-like carbon layers in combination with organic lubricants. Based on this knowledge, it is now possible to formulate design rules for supra lubricating layer-lubricant combinations. The results are presented in an article in Nature Communications, volume 10.

One of the most important prerequisites for sustainable and environmentally friendly mobility is minimizing friction. Research and industry have been dedicated...

Im Focus: Mission completed – EU partners successfully test new technologies for space robots in Morocco

Just in time for Christmas, a Mars-analogue mission in Morocco, coordinated by the Robotics Innovation Center of the German Research Center for Artificial Intelligence (DFKI) as part of the SRC project FACILITATORS, has been successfully completed. SRC, the Strategic Research Cluster on Space Robotics Technologies, is a program of the European Union to support research and development in space technologies. From mid-November to mid-December 2018, a team of more than 30 scientists from 11 countries tested technologies for future exploration of Mars and Moon in the desert of the Maghreb state.

Close to the border with Algeria, the Erfoud region in Morocco – known to tourists for its impressive sand dunes – offered ideal conditions for the four-week...

Im Focus: Programming light on a chip

Research opens doors in photonic quantum information processing, optical signal processing and microwave photonics

Researchers from the Harvard John A. Paulson School of Engineering and Applied Sciences (SEAS) have developed a new integrated photonics platform that can...

Im Focus: Physicists uncover new competing state of matter in superconducting material

A team of experimentalists at the U.S. Department of Energy's Ames Laboratory and theoreticians at University of Alabama Birmingham discovered a remarkably long-lived new state of matter in an iron pnictide superconductor, which reveals a laser-induced formation of collective behaviors that compete with superconductivity.

"Superconductivity is a strange state of matter, in which the pairing of electrons makes them move faster," said Jigang Wang, Ames Laboratory physicist and...

All Focus news of the innovation-report >>>

Anzeige

Anzeige

VideoLinks
Industry & Economy
Event News

11th International Symposium: “Advanced Battery Power – Kraftwerk Batterie” Aachen, 3-4 April 2019

14.01.2019 | Event News

ICTM Conference 2019: Digitization emerges as an engineering trend for turbomachinery construction

12.12.2018 | Event News

New Plastics Economy Investor Forum - Meeting Point for Innovations

10.12.2018 | Event News

 
Latest News

Scientists coax proteins to form synthetic structures with method that mimics nature

15.01.2019 | Life Sciences

Next generation photonic memory devices are light-written, ultrafast and energy efficient

15.01.2019 | Information Technology

Viennese scientists develop promising new type of polymers

15.01.2019 | Materials Sciences

VideoLinks
Science & Research
Overview of more VideoLinks >>>