Public Release: 

Science of first impressions: Press briefing for SPSP 2014

SPSP Conference Media Advisory

Society for Personality and Social Psychology

Science stories are bigger in Texas... Get your next big story at the SPSP annual meeting in Austin, TX, Feb. 13-15, 2014!

The 15th annual meeting of SPSP will bring together 3,500 scientists to share their latest research in 80 symposia and more than 2,000 posters. Join us in sunny Austin!

Come see the latest scientific research in a diverse array of topics - the accuracy of first impressions, behavioral influences on health, the link between parenting and happiness, ways to reignite passionate love, climate change skepticism, and more.

Register now.

Press registration gives access to all symposia, posters, special sessions, and exhibits. Additionally, SPSP provides a Press Room with Wi-Fi and workstations for registered media attendees. Press releases will also be available electronically for select symposia.

Announcing the following press briefing on first impressions, as well as other special events and sessions...

First Impressions: When Appearance Matters
Friday, February 14, 2013, 8:45-9:30am, Room 16B

Whether we like it or not, looks really do matter, sometimes even more than behavior or fact. A series of studies shows how first impressions not only shape our interactions with others but also influence how our relationships develop over time. First impressions predict everything from a person's likeability to their romantic potential and can even override other conflicting information provided to us.


  • Jeremy Biesanz, University of British Columbia
  • Paul Eastwick, University of Texas, Austin
  • Nicholas Rule, University of Toronto
  • Vivian Zayas, Cornell University

Related symposia:

  • Symposium S-A7: "When to Judge a Book by Its Cover: Timing, Context, and Individual Differences in First Impressions," Friday, February 14, 9:45-11:00 a.m., Ballroom B/C

  • Symposium S-B5: "The Social Consequences of Personality: New Insights into Mediating Processes," Friday, February 14, 11:15-12:30 p.m., Room 9

  • Symposium S-D-2: "On the Importance of Social Context: Expanding Our View," Friday, February 14, 3:30-4:45 p.m., Room 17

Other special sessions and events:

  • Thurs., Feb. 13, 8am-4:30pm: 30 pre-conferences with in-depth looks at the latest research in happiness and well-being, psychology and the law, evolutionary psychology, close relationships, psychology and health, and more. Interested press should contact to attend these data-rich sessions.

  • Thurs., Feb. 13, 5:00-7:00pm: Presidential symposium: From how we use digital technology to cope with natural disasters in the real world to novel methods for collecting behavioral data through social media, big data and new technology are expanding the possibilities for personality and social psychology - featuring speakers Roxane Cohen Silver, J.B. Michel, as well as Eric Horvitz of Microsoft Research and Adam Kramer of Facebook.

  • Fri., Feb. 14, 2:00-3:15pm: Lights, Camera... Psychology in Action: Four short talks with big ideas about the latest research on connections between people and space, myths about meaning in life, and more, featuring personality and social psychologists Roy Baumeister, Sam Gosling, Laura King, and Barbara Fredrickson. Video of these talks will be available online.

  • Fri., Feb. 14, 5:00-6:15pm: Awards addresses,-Campbell,-and-Distinguished-Scholar-Award-L.aspx) by the 2013 SPSP awards recipients Robert (Jeff) McCrae, a pioneering researcher on personality and aging; Timothy Wilson, an expert on why we have such a hard time evaluating ourselves, and Carol Dweck, whose innovative work has examined how mindset affects achievement.

  • Sat., Feb. 15, 2:00-3:15pm: Research Integrity: A special session to look at the "replicability crisis," featuring speakers Uri Simonhson, Susan Fiske, Mahzarin Banaji, and Jeff Simpson.


Register for the annual meeting now at:

Abstracts for all symposia are available on the meeting website.

Discounted hotel rooms are available. Book early to guarantee low rates.

For all media inquiries, please contact:

Lisa M. Pinsker Munoz
Public Information Officer, SPSP
Twitter: @SPSPnews #SPSP2014

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