What is the Halo Effect?

Do you really know?

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What is the Halo Effect?

Do you really know?

What is the Halo Effect?

The Halo Effect is a form of cognitive bias, whereby we base our overall opinion of a person on a single characteristic. It’s most often a positive characteristic, hence the name - it’s as if we see the person as having a halo.

The Halo Effect was named in 1920 by American psychologist Edward Thorndike. He carried out an experiment among commanding officers in the military. They had to evaluate their soldiers on a number of physical characteristics and personality traits. The officers tended to associate superior physique with superior intellect, loyalty and leadership. On the other hand, when their perception created a negative aura around a soldier, they could only see negative characteristics. This is known as the “reverse halo effect”, or “horns effect”.

Our brains find it hard to accept anything that contradicts our first impression of another person. That rings true even when we are presented with evidence to the contrary. That’s because our minds actively look for information to confirm pre-existing beliefs.

The Halo Effect can lead to forms of appearance discrimination in many domains. In the professional world, a physically attractive job hunter may be seen as more intelligent and competent than other candidates, even if it’s not really the case. If a recruiter notices a positive trait in the candidate, they tend to pay less attention to their flaws. 

The candidate would then have a higher chance of being recruited for a skilled job, as well as greater salary expectations. Being tall is also beneficial in terms of earning more money. According to one study, we earn 300$ more per year for every extra centimetre in height.

 

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What is the Halo Effect?

The Halo Effect is a form of cognitive bias, whereby we base our overall opinion of a person on a single characteristic. It’s most often a positive characteristic, hence the name - it’s as if we see the person as having a halo.

The Halo Effect was named in 1920 by American psychologist Edward Thorndike. He carried out an experiment among commanding officers in the military. They had to evaluate their soldiers on a number of physical characteristics and personality traits. The officers tended to associate superior physique with superior intellect, loyalty and leadership. On the other hand, when their perception created a negative aura around a soldier, they could only see negative characteristics. This is known as the “reverse halo effect”, or “horns effect”.

Our brains find it hard to accept anything that contradicts our first impression of another person. That rings true even when we are presented with evidence to the contrary. That’s because our minds actively look for information to confirm pre-existing beliefs.

The Halo Effect can lead to forms of appearance discrimination in many domains. In the professional world, a physically attractive job hunter may be seen as more intelligent and competent than other candidates, even if it’s not really the case. If a recruiter notices a positive trait in the candidate, they tend to pay less attention to their flaws. 

The candidate would then have a higher chance of being recruited for a skilled job, as well as greater salary expectations. Being tall is also beneficial in terms of earning more money. According to one study, we earn 300$ more per year for every extra centimetre in height.

 

See acast.com/privacy for privacy and opt-out information.

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