+
upworthy
Science

A guy with a twisted sense of humor explains how your brain is quicker to judge than your eyes

You know that saying "You never get a second chance to make a first impression?"

trustworthiness, first impressions, DNews

Who's more trustworthy?


William Haynes wants to talk to you about your brain.

He's a comedian for SourceFed, and he's got kind of a strange, dark sense of humor.

So when he was invited to host an episode of Discovery's "DNews" about the science of first impressions, we knew it was going to be awesome.


Here's what he had to say.

Your brain can decide how trustworthy a person is just by getting a split-second look at their face.

education, research, first impressions, facial recognition

That’s pretty cool... and scary.

via DNews/YouTube

GIFs from "DNews."

Researchers, in a study published in the Journal of Neuroscience, found that our brains help us form all kinds of spontaneous judgments of people that we may not even be aware of, including whether we can trust them.

It's all thanks to the amygdala, the walnut-shaped area of the brain that helps us process strong emotions.

amygdala, neuroscience, studies, brain

Are we programmed to react without knowing it?

via DNews/YouTube

In the study, two groups of participants were analyzed. The first group was asked to rate how much they trusted certain people by looking at their faces while the researchers measured activity in the amygdala. Simple enough.

The second group was asked to lay inside an MRI machine while faces flashed on a screen in front of them. But here's the catch: The faces appeared and disappeared so quickly that the people in this group couldn't even really see them.

Here's what the study found.

Regardless of whether you get a long look at someone's face or only a glance, your amygdala lights up like crazy.

What's even cooler is that participants in the study pretty much agreed on which faces were trustworthy and which ones weren't.

There were certain traits that stood out as shady, like furrowed eyebrows and shallow cheekbones, in particular.

first impression, judgement, testing, agreeable

What is the science behind a first impression?

via DNews/YouTube

This only begins to scratch the surface of the super-awesome science behind first impressions.

Did you know that a person's voice can have a similar effect on perception, even in small doses?

After testing a group of 64 people, researchers in Scotland found that participants were consistently able to agree on which personality traits corresponded to which voices they heard — based solely on hearing them speak the word "hello."

The biggest remaining question is whether these snap judgments have a measurable impact on our behavior.

A study by Nalini Ambady and Robert Rosenthal found something pretty interesting.

According to Lifehacker, the two compared "the ratings given to college professors by classes at the end of the semester with ratings that another group of students gave the same professors based only on three ten-second silent video clips shown prior to any actual lectures."

The two groups mostly agreed on how much they liked the professors, indicating that, just maybe, first impressions really do matter.

Watch the full episode of "DNews" to learn more about cool brain stuff and catch William Haynes' killer one-liners below:

This article originally appeared on 10.18.14


The 4-7-8 technique can help you fall asleep.

Are you having a hard time falling asleep? Dr. Andrew Weil has shared the “most powerful” relaxation technique he knows, and it doesn’t require any equipment or cost a dime. It’s known as the 4-7-8 method and it’s backed up by science.

Dr. Weil is an expert in integrative medicine and the founder and director of the Andrew Weil Center for Integrative Medicine at the University of Arizona.

The technique is simple:

Keep ReadingShow less
@mkwcreative.co/TikTok

Who says goal-setting can't be fun?

It’s January, which means that many people are clarifying the goals they'd like to accomplish by next year. But finding ways to actually stick to those lofty New Year's ambitions isn’t always as easy as listing them out. Because, inevitably, pressure starts to set in.

But what if ticking off your resolutions list could be fun as well as productive? Sort of a blend of everything whimsical about a vision board and everything efficient about a to-do list?

Thanks to one work team’s ingenious idea, having the best of both worlds isn't so impossible after all.

Keep ReadingShow less

How often should you wash your jeans?

Social media has become a fertile breeding ground for conversations about hygiene. Whether it’s celebrities bragging about how little their family bathes or battles over how often people should wash their sheets or bras.

One of the debates that gets the most diverse responses is how often people wash their denim jeans.

Denim atelier Benjamin Talley Smith tells Today that jeans should be washed "as little as possible, if at all.” Laundry expert Patric Richardson adds they should be cleaned “after nine or 10 wearings, like to me, that is the ideal." At that point, they probably have stains and are "a little sweaty by that point, so you need to wash 'em," Richardson says.

Still, some people wash and dry them after every wear while others will hand wash and never hang dry. With all these significant differences of opinion, there must be a correct answer somewhere, right?

Keep ReadingShow less
Identity

People from other countries share 14 'obvious' signs that someone is an American

"Americans lean on anything they can while standing around…"

Some American tourists enjoying the sights

Americans have a style and personality all their own, which isn’t a bad thing. It’s just noticeable when they travel aboard. Americans often stand out because of their outgoing personalities. They are friendly and enjoy having casual conversations with strangers.

This is an endearing trait to a lot of people in more reserved cultures, although it can also come off as a little brash.

An American characteristic that isn’t quite endearing to people in other countries is that they can be rather loud. In Europe, one can always notice the Americans in the restaurant because they can be heard from across the room.

Keep ReadingShow less
Joy

Viral kids' librarian responds to being bullied online and it's a lesson in kind clapbacks

“I hope they experience kindness. I hope they experience joy.”

Librarian's response to online bullying is a beautiful lesson.

No one enjoys being made fun of. It can be difficult to manage no matter how old you are, but the internet has brought teasing and bullying to a whole new level. People no longer have to see their bullies face-to-face, and instead of maybe someone turning a few of their friends against you, it's a few hundred or few thousand joining in on the teasing.

In this digital age, people are still trying to learn new ways to deal with finding themselves on the receiving end of online bullies. Mychal, a librarian who has become a viral sensation for his unique way of excitedly telling people about the library, recently found out he was the subject of online bullies. He had no idea anyone was teasing him until followers started doing mental health check-ins to make sure he was okay.

Once he found out why his community was reaching out with concern, the librarian decided to address the situation head on and in the process he gave a masterclass in kindness.

Keep ReadingShow less
Pop Culture

Watch a 13-year-old boy become the first person ever to beat Tetris

The classic 80s video game was considered unbeatable…until now.

Classic Tetris/YouTube

Thirteen-year-old Willis Gibson is the only player ever known to beat Tetris.

Few video games are as compelling and addictive as Tetris. Nor are other games, even the most difficult ones, literally impossible to beat.

The task behind Tetris is simple: rotate the falling blocks to fit the puzzle. But as those pieces fall at a faster and faster rate, at some point even the most skilled player becomes outmatched. In fact, no player (other than an AI bot) has been known to ever actually beat the game.

Until now.

Thirteen-year-old Willis Gibson, better known as “Blue Scuti” when he’s gaming, was about 39 minutes into a Tetris competition, rotating blocks at lightning speed, when he achieved a “True Killscreen,” signaling the game couldn’t keep up and crashed.

In other words, Gibson did the impossible. The 34-year-old old game was finally beat…by a teen.

Keep ReadingShow less