Foreigners form impressions instantly about countries

In Berlin, Germany, I met a vending machine in a steel cage. Covering the machine with a cage surprised me because it was inside one of downtown subway stations. My friend told me the machine could be damaged at night by drunken people. I formed an impression that Germany was unsafe; juvenile vandalism, an action involving deliberate destruction of or damage to public or private property, was popular in this country.

 

 

A few days later, I met a public book shelf in another city. At a market in Frankfurt, people freely opened the window and picked up as many books to read as they wanted. Then, I corrected my impression and thought Germany is safe.

 

 

I find myself using trivial cues to quickly form an impression about a city or a country. A steel cage led me to think Germany was dangerous for tourists. However, as Brunswik suggested in his Les Model research, the first impression fails to reflect the truth. Soon after, leaning occurs. A book shelf changed my viewpoint about Germany; this country is safe for travel. I expect same things happen to foreigners. When Europeans come to an Asian country, they probably use a trivial cue to form an impression and use other cues to correct it. Learning should occur to understand different cities, countries, and culture correctly.

 

Brunswik, E. (1955). Representative design and probabilistic theory in a functional psychology. Psychological Review, 62(3), 193-217.

This is the core or basic paper in a symposium on the probability approach in psychology. The paper expands on earlier contentions of this author that the environment to which an organism must adjust is semi erratic and that therefore all functional psychology is inherently probabilistic, demanding a representative research design of its own, and leading to a special type of high-complexity, descriptive theory. “The expansions beyond the earlier publications… concern mainly the use of a behavioral example… ; the brief consideration of such semi representative policies as ‘canvassing’; certain comparisons with factorial design and the analysis of variance, as well as with non-functionalistic uses of probability in psychology; and a discussion of actual and potential applications to the clinical-social area and to related domains.”