Psychology Phenomena {6} ~ Halo Effect

Halo effect (sometimes called the halo error) is the tendency for positive impressions of a person, company, brand or product in one area to positively influence one’s opinion or feelings in other areas. Halo effect is “the name given to the phenomenon whereby evaluators tend to be influenced by their previous judgments of performance or personality.” The halo effect which is a cognitive bias can possibly prevent someone from accepting a person, a product or a brand based on the idea of an unfounded belief on what is good or bad.

It was first defined by Edward Thorndike on the book called by the same name. A simplified example of the halo effect is when an individual noticing that the person in the photograph is attractive, well groomed, and properly attired, assumes, using a mental heuristic, that the person in the photograph is a good person based upon the rules of that individual’s social concept. This constant error in judgment is reflective of the individual’s preferences, prejudices, ideology, aspirations, and social constructs.

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