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Halo Effect

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Thoughts |

If we look at people whose clothes are neat, fragrant, polite, we will likely think of that person as someone intelligent, rich, and friendly. On the other hand, when we see people who are not good-looking and dress carelessly, we will think that people are stupid, poor, and even mean.

This effect has been discussed since about 100 years ago, and was given the name Halo Effect.

It happens when we generalize all of a person's traits based on a single attribute, usually from the first impressions. Like in the example earlier. We can think of someone as rich just by their clothes.

The halo effect is one of the biggest cognitive biases and what we do the most, unconsciously. The bad thing is, if we assume that someone is such and such, we tend to act and do things that make that person really such and such.

For example, take a look at the school. It is not uncommon for teachers to prefer and think that physically good students are also good academically, although that is not necessarily true. Because when we're young, our academic abilities are still developing, and that development is highly dependent on the surrounding environment.

The teacher usually tends to give more attention to the physically good child and pay less attention to other children. So as a result, eventually, the good-looking child becomes really good academically, just like the teacher thought.

But this effect is not 100% wrong. There are some cases when this effect can be true and help us make decisions more quickly. There are indeed some people's traits that can be caught at a glance.

For example, a person who wears buttons on a shirt randomly. Using this effect, we know that that person really doesn't care about appearance, and that's true. So, the first impression is crucial, and we must pay attention to that.

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