Are first impressions really accurate?

Source: BBC News

By Christian Jarrett

Fictional stories are replete with villains and heroes with an almost magical ability to discern other people’s characters – think Hannibal Lecter or Sherlock Holmes. In real life, too, many people (including certain world leaders) seem to think they have this skill. Question-and-answer sites like Quora are filled with posts like: “I can read people’s personalities and emotions like a book. Is this normal?

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But do any of us really have an exceptional skill for judging other people’s personalities?

Psychologists call such people – or the idea of them – “good judges”. And for more than a century, they have been trying to answer the question of whether these good judges really exist.

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