We all make assumptions, and we all know the importance of first impressions, but do we know how quickly we decide on them? Modern psychologists call it "thin-slicing" - a small window of time where other people create their first impressions about someone. Thin-slice methodology involves the intense observation of a small selection of an interaction, usually less than five minutes, which is used to draw conclusions about the emotions and attitudes of people, according to Psychology Today.

These are a number of common assumptions that studies have found people to make in this small span of time.


Researchers Janine Willis and Alexander Todorov have found that people may decide on your trustworthiness in as little as a tenth of second, according to a study published for the BPS Research Digest. When it comes to trustworthiness, it is a matter of how your facial features look that triggers this assumption.

High Status

A small Dutch study has found that people who wear name-brand clothing are more likely to be perceived to have status and wealth. What is interesting is that the study also concluded that the perceptions did not affect the perceived attractiveness of the individuals who were studied. It was really just all about social status, according to MSN Lifestyle.

Sexual Orientation

A study in 2008 about the sexual perception of individuals has found that people create assumptions on a man's sexual preference in as little as a twentieth of a second. Among the population in the study, the assumptions were found to be 57 percent accurate.


Nora A. Murphy, a professor at the Loyola Marymount University, has found that maintaining eye contact with a person you are talking to usually triggers the assumption that you are quite intelligent. "Looking while speaking was a key behavior" in helping the assumption, according to her study.


Interestingly, researchers the University of Pennsylvania have found that men are perceived to be more dominant when they sport a shaved head. After the initial study, another, more extensive research was initiated, with very similar results.  

Are these thin-slice assumptions accurate? Do you agree with them? Let us know in the comments below!