Info Panel
You are here:   Home  /  Conversations  /  The first impression is an unconscious one

The first impression is an unconscious one

If your audience is human then it is reasonable to expect them to respond to things in an instinctively human way.

How do humans respond?

What do they react to?

What makes them engage?

Being a visually expressive person, I have always believed that we humans respond to the visual first and foremost. We take in visual information, literally at the speed of light, then we assess, make judgements, assumptions and jump to conclusions on an almost instant, unconscious level. Dangererous / Safe  Friend / Foe  Familiar / unfamiliar  Trust/ don’t trust  Right / wrong  Like / don’t like  Pay attention / Ignore

A few weeks ago, when I was at the airport travelling back from Scotland, I picked up a fantasic book by Daniel Kahneman entitled Thinking, Fast and Slow. The Nobel Prize winning author shares a lifetime’s worth of research and findings on the subject of how the brain works and in turn how we as humans behave. The book provides the evidence that I had been looking for – taking my wee theory beyond “I believe this to be true” to “here’s the proof!” He divides the brain into two parts – two systems – called system 1 and system 2. He then explains how we make judgements, “educated guesses” assumptions and decisions. He explains how much of this is actually outside of our control because it happens on an unconscious level that we are completely unaware of. We only become aware of the process when system 2 is awakened. Depending on which response your instinctive brain takes, your conscious, logical thinking brain either kicks in to action or stays in the background.

CLICK HERE for a brilliant review by  William Easterly for the Financial Times (

“System Two likes to think it’s in charge, but it’s the irrepressible System 1 that runs the show.”

(from the above mentioned article)

This puts significantly more importance on creating a first impression and the first split-seconds it takes your customer to conclude theirs.

Finding someone who can visually “cut to the chase” interpret lots of information and put it into a form that a customer can get-it-in-one and yet discover and learn more and more through intelligently layering evocative and logical information to keep curiosity satisfied as long as it persists, is the way to go.




  2012  /  Conversations  /  Last Updated February 1, 2013 by Katja Maas  /  Tags: