At first sight: Persistent relational effects of get-acquainted conversations

Michael Sunnafrank, Artemio Ramirez

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

137 Scopus citations


Previous research has demonstrated that relational partners make decisions within the first few weeks of a relationship that determine the long-term nature of the relationship. The study reported here extends that research, predicting that such decisions and influences are apparent after brief first encounters. Students in several sections of a skills-oriented communication course reported reactions to a randomly assigned classmate after a brief conversation on the first day of class and the status of their relationship during week 9 of the term. Predicted Outcome Value Theory was employed to generate hypotheses. Results strongly support the theory, with perceptions formed during initial conversations influencing relationships in week 9.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)361-379
Number of pages19
JournalJournal of Social and Personal Relationships
Issue number3
StatePublished - Jun 2004


  • First impressions
  • Interpersonal attraction
  • Interpersonal communication
  • Relationship development


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