Your Smile Is Your Logo

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“Your smile is your logo, your personality is your business card, and the way you make others feel is your trademark.”

There are people we want to be around with and people we’d rather avoid. Affective presence or how we make other people feel is an interesting psychological concept that was the subject of a study led by Ph.D candidate Raul Berrios. His research study suggests that the way we make others feel could depend in our disposition, such as our tendency toward optimism.

For the purpose of the study, 40 students participated on a speed-dating scenario, producing a total of 134 four-minute dates. After each date, they had to immediately report how their partner had made them feel from one of eight emotions: sad, happy, angry, enthusiastic, bored, stressed, calm, or relaxed.

Interestingly, the researchers found that certain people were consistently rated in the same way, leading to the conclusion that certain emotions are constantly elicited. In the words of Berrios, “…some people indeed tended to make others feel a certain way.”

There are two most common feelings that people tend to elicit in others, according to the study: enthusiasm and boredom. As expected when looking for a potential romantic partner, people who bring out excitement or arousal get much more attention. Furthermore, the results suggested that the better you are at regulating your own emotions, the more you tend to make people feel good.

In reflection to his study, Berrios remarked, “People usually believe that they are what they think… But the affective presence phenomenon suggests that we also ‘are’ what we create in others, such as certain emotions.”

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