The Primacy Effect – Become a Ninja First Date Assassin

Use the primacy effect on first dates

The primacy effect. It might sound like the latest release in the Jason Bourne series, and it’s almost that awesome. Pay attention – this trick can make you successful on every single first date. Period.

Chances are you’ve never heard of the primacy effect, unless you’re a psychologist or a psychology major. This just isn’t something that most people know. But when you’re on your way to meet a girl for a first date… It’ll be better if you understand what the primacy effect is and how you can use it to your advantage.

You Never Get a Second Chance to Blah Blah Blah

We’ve all heard it a million times.  “You never get a second chance to make a first impression.”  Everybody’s favorite cliché for first dates and job interviews. While it’s obviously true, repeating it doesn’t really serve any purpose. This saying makes you feel tense and nervous about making a good first impression. And, paradoxically, appearing tense and nervous is not making a good first impression.

The primacy effect tells us that if you appear tense and nervous on your first date; your date will always see you as a tense and nervous person – no matter what you do after that. A more useful saying might be, “You never get a second chance to define yourself as a confident and attractive guy.”

You Never Get a Second Chance to Use the Primacy Effect

In psychology, there is a thing called “Serial Position.” Serial position theory states that when things are presented in a sequence, people tend to recall the first things and the last things better than the middle things. The first things are subject to the primacy effect. The last things are subject to the recency effect. And everything in between is screwed.

The primacy effect means that in a sequence of information, the first bit of information is important. All subsequent information is run through a filter that was created by the first bit of information. If this is true, then if the first thing you learn about a person is that they are clumsy, you will always see that person as clumsy, no matter what they do afterwards. If you have already established that a person is clumsy and then later you see them do a walking handstand on a parallel bar, you’ll think, “Wow – that clumsy person just got really lucky.”

The recency effect means that in a sequence of information, the most recent bit of information is important. Recent information can override previous conceptions. If this were true, in the example above, upon seeing the clumsy person perform a walking handstand you would say, “Oh, I see – that person is not clumsy after all.”

Back in the 60s, a couple of research psychologists did some extensive research to find out if serial position theory was correct. Their research did not support the recency effect… but it did support the primacy effect.

The primacy effect - Succes on every first date

Putting the Primacy Effect to Use on First Dates

How you appear on your first date is how your date will see you for as long as she knows you. It’s crazy powerful to understand this. This information actually allows you to define the way that you are perceived. And if you use it wisely, you can ensure that your date will always have a positive impression of you.

So now that you understand the primacy effect, the question is, what kind of person do you want your date to think you are… forever?

Be reasonable. If you decide that you want your date to think you are a super-secret ninja assassin, this will backfire. Unless you’re a professionally trained actor. Instead, your date will permanently believe that you’re a little boy who still likes to play make believe. So, what are some reasonable goals? I would recommend these three for starters: confident, happy, and attentive.

If you can create this impression… If you can have everything you do from this point forward defined by these three qualities… She will view you as a super-secret ninja punani assassin… until the day you die. Sound good?

How to Become a Super-Secret Ninja Punani Assassin

Confident – The biggest key to appearing confident is to smile. Smiling makes you appear confident, and it actually makes you feel confident. I’m not talking about a big cheese-eatin’ grin. Cultivate a subtle, attractive, romantic smile. Practice it in front of a mirror – you’re shooting for warm, deep, confidence.

Happy – The biggest key to appearing happy is… you guessed it… to smile. If you’re not actually happy on the night of your date – fix it or fake it. You can fix it by watching some standup comedy or listening to your favorite inspiring music. Only fake it as a last resort. If it comes to that, here’s a pro tip: we judge the sincerity of a smile by looking at someone’s eyes. What you do with your mouth doesn’t really matter. Fake a smile with your eyes and you can pull it off. Again, practice in front of a mirror. The good news here is that you won’t have to fake it for long. The act of smiling changes the physical state of your brain, and will actually make you feel happy.

Attentive – This is the hardest one. But, trust me, it’s also the most important. If you can establish on your first date that you are someone who really listens to her, someone who can identify with her feelings, and someone who is really interested in who she is as a person and what she’s all about… She will go out with you again. Feeling important and being the sole focus of anyone’s attention is like crack for her. It feels so good that she just can’t help herself. This will come in especially hand down the line when she wants to experience that feeling again, but it’s hard to get a hold of you.

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A Word of Warning

Your date will know if you are faking. Women are very good at reading your thoughts and emotions. You will have much better success if you actually possess these characteristics, rather than just faking them.

Confidence can be cultivated, and if you feel that you are not a confident person – that is something you should address. Happiness is all about your perspective. If you feel that you are not a happy person, start making changes in your life to alter your perspective. Find a happy place for yourself. Happiness can be “hacked,” so if you’re feeling unhappy on the day of a date – just do something that makes you smile, laugh, and feel good before your date. Attentiveness cannot be faked. If you aren’t interested in the things your date is saying, she will know it. This one is up to you – just decide that you’re going to focus your attention on her, and then pay attention.

Matthew Clark

Matt Clark loves football, live music, and the beautiful girls of Austin, TX. After spending a decade of his life in a tiny gray cubicle, he set out on his own as an entrepreneur and a marketing consultant. These days he can be found out and about, working in whichever coffee shop or courtyard catches his eye. Some of his favorite spots are Jo's, Caffe Medici, and Strange Brew.