The scientific story of first impressions


To what extent are the judgements we make about people formed specifically from their facial appearance? How did this process evolve in human beings, what purpose does it serve, and what dangers could it pose? In this podcast, one of the world’s leading researchers on this subject, Professor Alexander Todorov, talks to Dr Raj Persaud about the science behind first impressions.


Date published: 20 March 2018

Presenter: Dr Raj Persaud

Interviewee: Professor Alexander Todorov

Audio running time: 30 minutes

Credits: 0.5


Learning outcomes


By the end of this podcast, we hope you will have gained an understanding of:


  • the relationship between facial processing and character judgements


  • how these character judgements can influence important decision-making events, such as elections and court cases


  • the evolution of human beings' facial features


  • the proposed evolutionary and sociological reasons behind our tendency to make such rapid judgements.


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Podcast The psychology of agency and control with Dr Magda Osman


Module Avoiding clinical bias in psychiatry by Dr Prasanna N. de Silva

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