From an interesting article in Ars Technica on how we can overestimate what we extract from first impressions:
Other people’s faces are thus more akin to mirrors reflecting our own biases than to windows revealing their owners’ inner lives; the first impressions we make of other people based on their faces say more about us than about them.
The article is a review of a recent book: Face Value: The Irresistible Influence of First Impressions by Alexander Todorov (Princeton Uni Press, 2017):
We make up our minds about others after seeing their faces for a fraction of a second—and these snap judgments predict all kinds of important decisions. For example, politicians who simply look more competent are more likely to win elections. Yet the character judgments we make from faces are as inaccurate as they are irresistible; in most situations, we would guess more accurately if we ignored faces. So why do we put so much stock in these widely shared impressions? What is their purpose if they are completely unreliable? In this book, Alexander Todorov, one of the world’s leading researchers on the subject, answers these questions as he tells the story of the modern science of first impressions.