The Halo Effect

This article uses examples to describe how the Halo Effect influences one's opinion of other people

2 min read
The Halo Effect

The halo effect is a term from social psychology and was named by the American psychologist Edward Lee Thorndike. The term halo effect refers to the distorted perception of a person based on a single impression or individual characteristics. One infers another characteristic directly from a known characteristic of the other person, without knowing whether this characteristic applies to the person. This effect directly puts a halo on the person.

In contrast to this, there is still the negatively distorted perception due to individual known properties. This is called the "devil's horn effect".

This cognitive perception is strongly influenced by one's own values ​​and norms.

Halo Effect

Jenna meets a former classmate named Frieda on the street. The two haven't spoken to each other for 10 years. When asked what Jenna does, she replies: "I'm mostly a housewife and mother." Her former classmate immediately thinks that Jenna can cook very well, since she would be at home all day and also for her child would have to cook real meals. Jenna has no talent for cooking. She is not at home all day either, as she still works part-time. Her mother takes care of Jenna's child during the week and also cooks for Jenna and her child .

So, based directly on Jenna's statement that she was a housewife and mother, her former classmate inferred from Jenna's statement that she is a housewife and mother that everyone as a housewife and mother must be able to cook well.

Unfortunately, it is often the case that when forming one's own opinion about the other, attributes are used that are not suitable for this. This is known as the halo effect.

Devil Horns Effect

Frieda already loved the punk style at school. She has retained this even after 10 years. Jenna's first thought when she sees her former schoolmate again is that Frieda hasn't been able to get her life under control for the past 10 years because of her looks and is living the day. She is all the more astonished when Frieda tells her that she successfully completed her computer science studies after school and now runs a small software company.

In this case, the clothing attribute is used to infer other characteristics that people (according to their own world view) must have. There is no logical connection here.

The Halo Effect In A Seminar Context

In the seminar context, however, this simplification, which our brain carries out automatically, is destructive on the part of the trainer. The behavior of the trainer towards the participants should be neutral and not influenced by their own world view.

-> I'm okay, you're okay

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