Online First Impressions Are More Negative than Face to Face First Impressions.

Some of you know one of my areas of research and one of my body language books and my most popular keynote speech is on first impressions. I do research and consult on my clients business first impression and one of the things you may not know is that online your first impression is likely to be perceived more negatively.
“If you want to make a good impression, it is critical that it is done in person,” said Jeremy Biesanz, Ph.D., of the University of British Columbia, who conducted three studies comparing the accuracy and bias of first impressions when formed under different circumstances.
The first study analyzed a series of experiments involving more than 1,000 participants who met each other through either a three-minute speed-dating style interview or by watching a video of the person.
“What we observe here is that the accuracy of impressions is the same when you meet someone face to face or simply watch a video of them,” Biesanz said. “However, impressions are much more negative when you form impressions more passively through watching videotapes.”
While people could accurately attribute certain personality traits, such as extroverted, arrogant, or sociable, to others in person or by video, the magnitude of the positive attributes was lower via video, while the negatives attributes were higher.
The researchers found similar results in two other studies, including one that compared in-person impressions to those obtained by looking at Facebook photos. The other study compared in-person meetings to simply watching someone as a passive observer. In all cases, the passive means of making impressions were as accurate as the active ones, according to the researchers.
“However, there is an extremely large difference in the positivity of impressions,” he said. “More passive impressions are substantially more negative.”

Patti Wood, MA - The Body Language Expert. For more body language insights go to her website at Check out Patti's website for her new book "SNAP, Making the Most of First Impressions, Body Language and Charisma" at