Halo effect

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Term Definition
Halo effect

When positive associations with one product or service influence people's perception of another related offering.

The "halo effect" is a cognitive bias that describes how our positive impression of one aspect of someone or something influences our overall perception of them, even in unrelated areas. It's like seeing someone with a friendly smile and assuming they're also kind and trustworthy, even though you have no evidence to support that.

Here are some key points about the halo effect:

  • It can be positive or negative: A good first impression (attractiveness, intelligence, success) can lead to positive assumptions about other qualities. Conversely, a negative initial impression can color our judgment in unfavorable ways.
  • It's pervasive: The halo effect affects our evaluations in various contexts, from judging job candidates to evaluating products or brands.
  • It can be misleading: Since it relies on shortcuts and assumptions, the halo effect can lead to inaccurate judgments and biased decisions.

Here are some examples of the halo effect:

  • Attractive people being perceived as more competent.
  • A well-designed website leading to assumptions about the quality of the company's products.
  • A famous athlete being seen as a role model in all aspects of life.

While the halo effect can be helpful in making quick judgments, it's important to be aware of its potential to mislead and strive for more objective evaluations whenever possible.