How Tattoos, Piercings, and Other Choices Affect First Impressions at Work

How Tattoos, Piercings, and Other Choices Affect First Impressions at Work

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How Tattoos, Piercings, and Other Choices Affect First Impressions at Work

, PayScale
Aug 02, 2014

Fairly or not, people make assumptions about others based upon mannerisms, clothing, and personal appearance. Research on first impressions gives us insight into how to control and direct the first impressions we make on others. (Photo Credit:  BrandiBruce /Flickr)

The trouble with first impressions is that they are, by definition, made with very little information — perhaps just how well a new acquaintance makes eye contact or what brand of shoe he is wearing . Sometimes our first impressions are correct, other times incorrect. Understanding common first impressions can help us present ourselves to our best advantage at work.

Facial Piercings

In research from 2012 , people were asked to give their impressions of models with increasing numbers of facial piercings. The more facial piercings a person had, the less intelligent they were considered to be by the participants. Remember, this is a first impression with no other information about the person with piercings.

Higher numbers of facial piercings were associated with extraversion and sensation-seeking. They were also associated with lack of intelligence. Some test subjects also had piercings and the researchers took this into account. It seems that people with fewer piercings will still judge those with more piercings as unintelligent, in general.

In 2008, a different study concluded that women with facial piercings were assumed to be creative.

All of this information may be used to your advantage. You may remove facial jewelry temporarily to control first impressions, or leave it as is, depending upon what impression you wish to give. If you want to be seen as extremely creative or extraverted and willing to take risks, leaving jewelry in place may give you an advantage.
Tattoos One study on first impressions and tattoos claims that women with tattoos are assumed to be more promiscuous. (Perhaps tattoos have something in common with wearing red ?) In any case, people are usually free to choose whether to show or cover a tattoo on […]