Harvard and Cornell Researchers Find that People like You More than You Think

Blog posted On October 05, 2018

If you're hard on yourself about how you come off in social situations, especially when it comes to making first impressions, you're not alone. But there's good news. A recent study published in the Association for Psychological Science suggests that the people you meet probably like you more than you think.

"Our research suggests that accurately estimating how much a new conversation partner likes us — even though this a fundamental part of social life and something we have ample practice with — is a much more difficult task than we imagine," say co-authors Erica Boothby, a postdoctoral researcher at Cornell University, and Gus Cooney, a social psychologist at Harvard University.

In the first of a series of experiments, the researchers provided pairs of students with ice-breakers for five-minute conversations. The students then independently answered questions about how much they liked their conversation partner and how much they thought their conversation partner liked them.