Mentor: Dr. Carolyn Mebert, UNH Department of Psychology
Thin Slice Phenomenon in Adolescents and Through Pictures
Our tendency to form initial impressions of individuals with whom we interact is a human characteristic. The thin slice phenomenon describes the highly accurate judgments of another’s behavior, traits, and other personality characteristics based on brief social interactions or behavioral observations that last no more than five minutes. The present study determined whether the thin slice phenomenon is accessible (a) in adolescents, and (b) through pictures and simple descriptors of personality characteristics provided through brief questionnaires concerning social anxiety and self-esteem. The study also explored whether the target’s physical attractiveness level is related to the raters’ ability to match personality characteristics with the target’s photo. In the present study, 33 adolescents were asked to complete the social anxiety and self-esteem measures and have their photos taken, and 22 raters were asked to match personality characteristics with that of the target’s photo and rate the photos on levels of attractiveness. The authors propose raters to be highly accurate in matching photos and the corresponding personality characteristic. Moreover, they predict a negative correlation to exist between attractiveness and social anxiety, and a positive correlation between attractiveness and self esteem.