Making a good first impression is important. One can observe a great deal of information about character and personality based on a first impression. What if the first impression involved zero-acquaintance? Zero-acquaintance is when there is no direct physical contact with an individual, just a direct physical interaction with their physical space and environment. Can personality be determined based on observation alone? The task of connecting individuals to the environment they occupy is challenging but possible. Based on the observation of offices and bedrooms, personality judgments can be accurately calculated to some extent about the owner.
[...] These goals were addressed with study one, offices and study two, bedrooms. Study two was very similar to Study one with one exception What was the purpose of changing the environment in which judgments were made? This exception was due to creativity and self expression. In Study One, participants were limited in self expression due to guidelines set by the employer. One can portray or betray their personality. With this limitation, the office provides an environment where one can create Other- Directed Identity Claims emphasizing ones agreeableness around observers. [...]
[...] Findings in Zero-acquaintance research, as in Study one of the offices, found the link to Extraversion were slightly accurate due to the long term acquaintance developed among the employees who participated in the study. Do observers use valid cues to make their judgments? The observers in the study were using cue-validation correlations and cue-utilization correlations as a guideline to match a certain trait to personality such as clean versus dirty and colorful versus drab. The cue utilizations were used to determine the correlation between observers' ratings of individuals' physical environments and behaviors. Are people accurate in making impressions of others' personalities from observing the environment? [...]
[...] For example, a college student may equip their dorm room with the newest gadgets and electronics to suggest to their peers that they are cool. Behavior conduct is reflected through Interior Behavioral Residue. Interior Behavioral Residue show cues about repeated behavior and anticipated behavior in a personal environment. An organized closet and a color coded to do chart are physical traces and examples of Interior Behavioral Residue. The last of the mechanisms that link peoples' personalities to their environment is Exterior Behavioral Residue. [...]
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