Can these little psychology tricks really improve how people perceive you socially?


Yes, doctors now use method acting techniques to show patients they are paying attention and empathetic:

It is hard to consciously fake these signals, thereby falsely communicating your attitude or intention. Method acting does appear to work, however, if you really, fully put yourself into a particular social role. Whether it is as the leader, the team member, or another role, we find that your signaling automatically and unconsciously changes to match. The fact that you can mentally “put on” different social roles and have your signaling follow suit means that we can change our unconscious communications. Doctors, for instance, are using method acting to improve their unconscious signaling of attention and empathy, and hence, to improve patient care as well as reduce lawsuits.

Use of impression management techniques was more predictive of job offers than GPA.

Via Impression Management in the Workplace: Research, Theory, and Practice:

Cynthia Kay Stevens and Amy L. Kristof conducted a study with 106 applicants and 78 interviewers who used university placement services during a 16-month period. Some of the interviews were audiotaped to later measure impression management tactics. A major result of the study was that gender, GPA, and job type had little relationship in terms of perceived suitability for the position or the likelihood that the hiring firm would pursue the candidate. In contrast, self-promotion by applicants did predict the extent to which they were judged as suitable and pursuit by the organization (as measured by site-visit invitations). The researchers therefore concluded that impression management tactics are related to interview outcomes.

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