Many things influence the decisions and judgments we make and we are usually aware of what they are. However when it comes to the Halo Effect can we genuinely be influenced to think a certain way about a person or a product because of one perceived quality?
The opposite off the halo effect can also take place. One bad quality or experience can cloud your view of a person’s better qualities. This is known as the 'devil' or 'horn' effect.
CVs with pictures of attractive applicants attached have been shown to be more likely to result in a job offer, while juries have been shown to preferentially judge attractive defendants as not guilty. The only exception to this is when the defendant is accused of being a ‘con artist’. At this point, being attractive makes you more likely to be found guilty.
Elliot Aronson, a social psychologist at Stanford University, believes self-fulfilling prophecies - in which a person's confident self-perception, fed by healthy feedback from others - may play a role in success. Aronson suggests, based on the self-fulfilling prophecy, that people who feel they are attractive - though not necessarily rated as such - are just as successful as their counterparts who are judged to be good-looking.
London Evening Standard: Ugly defendants"more likely to be found guilty than attractive ones".
Journal of Young Investigators: Looking good: The psychology and biology of beauty.
Aronson, Elliot. 1999. The Social Animal. New York: Worth Publishers, Inc
Psychology Today: The Halo Effect in overdrive.
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