The term ‘book cover judgments’ bears only negative connotations. It’s widely accepted in the society that a person should analyze and synthesize all the available information before arriving at any decision. People who sometimes make book cover judgments are considered shallow and hypocritical. It’s often deemed to be a sign of narrowness and over-indulged self-opinion. Psychologists struggled to prove that the first impression is frequently the most lasting and important one, yet the society still keeps to the notion that superficial judgments are the greatest evil.
Upon careful investigation, it becomes evident that book cover judgments often provide the most relevant and accurate information, being an important way to organize information, which is especially relevant at the dawn of the Information Age. In many cases, book cover judgment can provide the most relevant and accurate information. It’s especially true about making up one’s mind about other people: it’s a well-known fact that the first impression can be formed from brief exposure to another, and it can last for years.
It can be proven by one of the new fads, speed-dating, organized by such companies as 8MinuteDating and HurryDate, when people meet with a dozen of people for up to ten minutes and then decide on their potential companions. Its concept rests on a simple belief that a couple of minutes can be plenty of time to understand a person up and judge compatibility. It’s not a top secret that everybody evaluates each other based on immediate intuitions.
Scientists are discovering that in many situations our social intuition is indeed astonishing, as we can sometimes collect a considerable amount of information about a person’s nature or abilities in just a few seconds. Initial encounters are emotionally intense events that can overwhelm us, therefore true and accurate judgments can be formed. Book cover judgments are not simple hardwired reactions, since people are also taught how to judge others, holding our first impressions up to the light of social stereotypes. Implicit attitudes that enter into our calculations are always in place.
As a consequence, sometimes book cover judgments are considered synonymous to such words as stereotypes and prejudices. Prejudices and stereotypes are schemes that assist us in comprehending the reality; when reality does not correspond to our prejudice it is easier for our mind to modify our interpretation of reality than to modify the prejudice. Prejudices help us to complement information when we do not posses at the moment. And here it’s of paramount importance to draw a line between these two concepts. From a psychological perspective, stereotypes are simply ways to organize information in your head.
Having stereotypes amount to having life experience to build upon. It’s necessary to use stereotypes to draw parallel with other similar cases in the past, to avoid mistakes or use the strong sides of some employees. Stereotypes consist basically in shared beliefs or notions about a certain group or event. A stereotype is a combination of characteristics that sums up this group or event. The goal of stereotypes is to simplify reality. Prejudices, however, are judgements we make about another person or group of people without trying to understand them.
They are divided into negative or positive in character, yet negative prejudices prevail. Prejudices often go along with ignorance, fear or hatred. When making judgments about groups of people, book cover judgments aren’t enough. It has been shown already that one can’t do without organizing information without help of stereotypes. This is especially true in the Information Age when people are receiving a huge amount of information every second. Information flows are continuously intensifying, and this tendency is projected to amplify in the future. In the past, people had enough time to allocate to such matters as judging and rethinking.
The decline of conventional philosophy at the beginning of the 21st century is the evidence of the diminishing value of in-depth analysis. While this analysis is sometimes performed for a variety of reasons, it’s conspicuously absent from our everyday life. It’s too early to blame modern men for laziness or ignorance – without making book cover judgments, it’s impossible to make sense of all the information we have to process every day. In other words, book cover judgments are necessary for many reasons. First of all, they can quickly provide much information about a certain person just after few minutes of initial contact.
Secondly, stereotypes have been proven to be an important way to organize information. Las but not least, book cover judgments are the only option available to the society living in the Information Age. The society should gradually change its negative perception of quick judgments. Psychologists have already started debunking many myths about the psychological mechanism behind making book cover judgments. Instead of trying to diminish the value of this essential psychological tool, people should be trained to handle first impressions effectively and derive maximum information possible from the first seconds of encounter.
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