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I seem to recall reading some research years ago about what people notice in the first second or so of seeing someone else, and in what order they notice those things. It's something like gender, race, age...

Can anyone help me out with a link or reference or at least a well defended guess?

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Not a well defended guess but a vague memory of a paper I once read: age and gender get priority, or at least are hardest to deliberately ignore. – Ana Mar 4 '13 at 10:12
Forgive me for stating something obvious, but what people first notice in another person's attributes relate to the differentiation between the "in-group" and "out-group"... largely dependent on context. But as stated above, I guess if you're asking more generally, if memory serves me right, gender and race are two attributes that are noticed first. – PheonixEnder Mar 5 '13 at 5:36

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