the halo effect
You must read the article outlining the halo effect prior to completing this activity. What are your views on the halo effect? Can you think of examples when it has
happened with you personally? Given your awareness of the halo effect, how do you foresee it affecting you in the future?
Please have answers in body of work .
Also the instructor says the following
A reminder to help you keep on track. I do not accept blogs, newspapers, wiki, internet sources, books, encyclopedias, magazines of any kind, etc. in Discussions,
Short Papers, Final Papers, etc. You may use the SNHU reading material in the Module Resources as a guide to help you to formulate your thoughts, but please do not use
those articles as your source of information for your work. They are not peer-reviewed. If you build your discussion on this foundation it will be considered as “not
Remember that as a general rule, you are only as credible as your sources. Magazines such as USA Today, The NY Times, The Boston Herald, The Economist, Time, etc. are
not peer reviewed journals and do not contain peer-reviewedl articles. The authors of these “articles” are politically-not scientifically-driven or grounded. In this
course, we look towards a more scientific explanation in order to help us understand the social world around us. Please do not lose sight of this. Incorportating these
types of articles into your discussions/papers/projects will only cause you to lose points in many areas.
Peer-reviewed journals usually start with “Journal of ________”. For example, in her discussion, Steffani has correctly referenced the following; one is APA which is
acceptable and the other is a peer-revewed journal:
American Psychological Association. 2013. Gun Violence: Prediction, Prevention and Policy.Retrieved from https://www.apa.org/pubs/info/ reports/gun-violence-
Roberto, A., Meyer, G., Johnson, A., Atkin, C., & Smith, P. 2002. Promoting Gun Trigger-Lock Use. Journal of Applied Communication Research, 30(3), 210.
On the graduate level, you are expected to understand how to research a peer-reviewed journal article in order to support your own work. You must use scholarly
resources effectively that reflect the depth and breadth of the topic you are investigating. Scholarly being the key word. It is up to you to decide the type of work
you present, but please remember that you are, and will be, graded on a set of pre-defined graduate level criteria.
Please reach out if you need further explanation.
The Halo Effect: When Your Own Mind is a Mystery
The idea that global evaluations about a person bleed over into judgements about their specific traits.
The ‘halo effect’ is a classic finding in social psychology. It is the idea that global evaluations about a person (e.g. she is likeable) bleed over into judgements
about their specific traits (e.g. she is intelligent). Hollywood stars demonstrate the halo effect perfectly. Because they are often attractive and likeable we
naturally assume they are also intelligent, friendly, display good judgement and so on. That is, until we come across (sometimes plentiful) evidence to the contrary.
In the same way politicians use the ‘halo effect’ to their advantage by trying to appear warm and friendly, while saying little of any substance. People tend to
believe their policies are good, because the person appears good. It’s that simple.
But you would think we could pick up these sorts of mistaken judgements by simply introspecting and, in a manner of speaking, retrace our thought processes back to the
original mistake. In the 1970s, well-known social psychologist Richard Nisbett set out to demonstrate how little access we actually have to our thought processes in
general and to the halo effect in particular.
Likeability of lecturers
Nisbett and Wilson wanted to examine the way student participants made judgements about a lecturer (Nisbett & Wilson, 1977). Students were told the research was
investigating teacher evaluations. Specifically, they were told, the experimenters were interested in whether judgements varied depending on the amount of exposure
students had to a particular lecturer. This was a total lie.
In fact the students had been divided into two groups who were going to watch two different videos of the same lecturer, who happened to have a strong Belgian accent
(this is relevant!). One group watched the lecturer answer a series of questions in an extremely warm and friendly manner. The second group saw exactly the same person
answer exactly the questions in a cold and distant manner. Experimenters made sure it was obvious which of the lecturers alter-egos was more likeable. In one he
appeared to like teaching and students and in the other he came across as a much more authoritarian figure who didn’t like teach at all.
After each group of students watched the videos they were asked to rate the lecturer on physical appearance, mannerisms and even his accent (mannerisms were kept the
same across both videos). Consistent with the halo effect, students who saw the ‘warm’ incarnation of the lecturer rated him more attractive, his mannerisms more
likeable and even is accent as more appealing. This was unsurprising as it backed up previous work on the halo effect.
The surprise is that students had no clue whatsoever why they gave one lecturer higher ratings, even after they were given every chance. After the study it was
suggested to them that how much they liked the lecturer might have affected their evaluations. Despite this, most said that how much they liked the lecturer from what
he said had not affected their evaluation of his individual characteristics at all.
For those who had seen the badass lecturer the results were even worse – students got it the wrong way around. Some thought their ratings of his individual
characteristics had actually affected their global evaluation of his likeability.
Even after this, the experimenters were not satisfied. They interviewed students again to ask them whether it was possible their global evaluation of the lecturer had
affected their ratings of the lecturer’s attributes. Still, the students told them it hadn’t. They were convinced they had made their judgement about the lecturer’s
physical appearance, mannerisms and accent without considering how likeable he was.
Common uses of the halo effect
The halo effect in itself is fascinating and now well-known in the business world. According to ‘Reputation Marketing ‘ by John Marconi, books that have ‘Harvard
Classics’ written on the front can demand twice the price of the exact same book without the Harvard endorsement. The same is true in the fashion industry. The
addition of a well-known fashion designer’s name to a simple pair of jeans can inflate their price tremendously.
But what this experiment demonstrates is that although we can understand the halo effect intellectually, we often have no idea when it is actually happening. This is
what makes it such a useful effect for marketers and politicians. We quite naturally make the kinds of adjustments demonstrated in this experiment without even
realising it. And then, even when it’s pointed out to us, we may well still deny it.
So, the next time you vote for a politician, consider buying a pair of designer jeans or decide whether you like someone, ask yourself whether the halo effect is
operating. Are you really evaluating the traits of the person or product you thought you were? Alternatively is some global aspect bleeding over into your specific
judgement? This simple check could save you voting for the wrong person, wasting your money or rejecting someone who would be a loyal friend.
Or perhaps, even if you do check, you’ll still never know…Gulp