Quoting Harlot O'Scara:" But that's just it though. Why? Why is it so horrible that you must call someone names because of PERSONAL choices they make that don't concern you? "
Well then don't call anyone anything.
I mean smurf. You couldn't think to yourself, jeez that kid looks kinda emo. That girl looks wealthy. That dude looks trashy. That girl looks slutty. She has a bitch face.
I am going to think things about everyone. Judging. It's natural. Your brain does it whether you SAY it or not.
Scientists have recorded the gentle flicker of activity that lights up the brain when we form our first impressions of people. The study shows how age-old brain circuitry that evolved to make snap decisions on the importance of objects in the environment is now used in social situations.
Brain scans taken while volunteers formed opinions of new acquaintances found activity surged in an ancient neural circuit that helps us make a rapid assessment of a person's character.
"Humans have always been engaged in making decisions on what's important and what's not, and social decision making is taking advantage of these primary systems in the brain," said Daniela Schiller, who led the study at New York
"Whenever you need to assign value to something, you use the same mechanism, whether it's an inanimate object or a person. It's like there's one common currency in the brain."
Previous work by neuroscientists has shown we form our first impressions well within 30 seconds of meeting people. Often, our opinion changes very little after knowing them for longer.
"When you meet a person, they might say something, or look a certain way, or behave a certain way, but you have very little information on which to form an opinion, but it is almost instantaneous and you can't withhold from doing it," said Schiller.
In the study, published in Nature Neuroscience
, Schiller and scientists from Harvard University took brain scans of 19 volunteers who were asked to form a first impression of a series of fictional characters.
The volunteers were shown faces of men on a computer screen, followed by six sentences that described a mix of good and bad aspects of their character. For example, the person might have picked up his room mate's post on the way home from university, or told a fellow student they were stupid. After reading all of the sentences, the participants were asked to rate how much they liked the person on a scale from one to eight, with eight being the most likable.
Schiller's team then looked through the images from the scanner to see what brain regions had been most active while people formed their first impressions.
The scans showed that two brain regions were involved in opinion-forming, the almond-shaped amygdala, which is linked to regulating emotions, and the posterior cingulate cortex, which is active in making financial decisions and putting values on the outcomes of situations.
"Even when we only briefly encounter others, brain regions that are important in forming evaluations are engaged, resulting in a quick first impression," said Elizabeth Phelps, a co-author on the study at New York University.
Understanding the biological circuits involved with opinion forming might help scientists learn what happens when they are disrupted or fail to activate properly. "It might affect the impressions you have of others, and that could feed into the basis of your relationship with them from then on," said Schiller.