In a new relationship? Make a good first impression.
Trust is vital to any relationship be it romantic, platonic or even business or working relationships. New research shows that the early days of that relationship are the most sensitive to trust issues and that making a bad first impression can be tough to overcome.
The study, published in the December issue of Personality and Social Psychology Bulletin, found that an early violation of trust in a relationship can plant seeds of doubt that never go away. Researchers, from Ohio State University, conducted two experiments with college students to see how much students were willing to cooperate with a partner after trust was breached. The students played games involving the exchange of money and the willingness to trust a partner. The results showed breaching trust early led to persistent distrust while later breaches were less harmful to trust and cooperation.
"Our results suggest that immediate breaches are especially costly because they seriously damage the impressions people have about their partner, and that's hard to repair," Robert Lount, a co-author of the study and assistant professor of management and human resources, said in a news release. "Our results fly in the face of this Hollywood notion of hating someone at first sight but then developing a wonderful, passionate relationship. The likelihood of that happening in real life is pretty low."
-- Shari Roan