Impression formation refers to how one interprets and judge another individual.
This theory can be found in a Singaporean social campaign called the Singapore Kindness Movement. Interactive displays are created for the public to see their responses resonating with the rest of the community (Tay, V., 2016).
An advantage of impression formation is that it enables us to respond rapidly to situations because we may have had a similar experience before, even though negative stereotypes are far more common (McLeod S, 2008).Upon seeing a scenario of an irate customer ranting off at a waitress for spilling his drink, the decision of the public to react and defend the waitress is affected by the impression of the two individuals. One’s current intentions and goals affect what one considers important enough to pay attention to. (Bargh, J.
A., & Pietromonaco, P., 1982). Hence, the customer in this situation is immediately seen as rude when he shouts at the waitress, even though the waitress did accidentally spill his drink.
Thus, the customer is in the wrong and should be stopped. This process is usually automatic and it saves us a lot of time by simplifying our social world. Thus, impression formations are used in the campaign which aims to promote kindness regardless of race, language or religion.
Another campaign that uses this theory is Plaster the Silence Campaign. Differences between individuals are put aside and through this campaign, they learn to be open-minded and understand that people have mental illnesses and what they are going through in their lives. Hence, people judge each other based solely on what they are going through in their lives mentally.
Through interacting with each other, the people that are going through these mental illnesses have an accurate impression of each other and is therefore able to discuss and find specific ways to seek help and cope with their illness. The plaster focuses on suicide prevention by getting people to open up about their personal feelings and their experiences, instead of focusing on social factors such as physical appearances and stereotypes (Yi, S.B., 2016).