People often form opinions about other people based on limited information. When first meeting someone we use the process of person perception. This act has both positive and negative results.
The process of person perception starts with physical cues. We form impressions based on physical appearance and behavior. After we meet a person we perceive them based on personaility traits, speech, and body language. Finally we put them into categories based on meeting people with similar physical appearance, body language, etc.
This act can be both positive and negative. When we meet a stranger it's good to use person perception, because it can keep us safe. Body language explains much about a person. If they are staggering around we might think they have had too much to drink. We could negatively judge them when in reality they recently had a stroke. People need to be aware of many different aspects about people before they make a solid judgement.
Person perception is the process our brains go through in order to form impressions of people. Sometimes, we form impressions very quickly of people based on sterotypes and social norms. Other times, physical cues might be one of the first things we use to form impressions. If a man is dressed in a business suit, we might think he works at a very good job like a bank or corporation and is intelligent. We also use social categorization, which is when our minds categorize people into groups based on age, gender, race, and occupation.