Absurdly Driven looks at the world of business with a skeptical eye and a firmly rooted tongue in cheek. 

Humans aren't very forgiving.

They make instant judgments all the time, whether it's behind a steering wheel, at a job interview or at a party.

He's driving a Prius. Ergo, a terrible driver.

She's wearing jeans to an interview. Ergo, not serious.

He's wearing a smock to a party. Ergo, no way am talking to him.

Just how judgmental are we?

How long do we give each other to make a good first impression before we move on?

Survey company OnePoll asked 2,000 American to be honest. 

The researchers discovered that you have 27 seconds to make a good first impression.

I'm astounded.

This is far more generous than I would have imagined. 

It seems to me that people dismiss others after just one look. Or even just one sniff.

Indeed, these researchers insisted that smell was an extremely important factor. 

85 percent of respondents said they were more likely to have a good first impression about someone is they were pleasantly fragrant.

One should, of course, toss a little skepticism into every piece of research. 

This one was performed on behalf of the Dollar Shave Club, which just happens to have launched some new colognes.

Of course, so many scientists have spent so many hours analyzing first impressions.

For example, Harvard social psychologist Amy Cuddy insists that enthusiasm, confidence and passion contribute enormously to a good first impression.

Then again, venture capitalist Rich  Stromback believes that, when it comes to networking, first impressions simply don't matter. 

That's because everyone's listening to the experts and therefore being fake.

Still, perhaps it's worth seeing if you can focus for a mere 27 seconds on impressing others. Without trying to, that is.

If you don't feel you're getting through, move on.

Life is but one speed-date after another until you find an element that somehow clicks.

And goodness, is that element precious.

Published on: Dec 30, 2018
The opinions expressed here by Inc.com columnists are their own, not those of Inc.com.