Halo Effect

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  • A form of observation that is potentially inaccurate because it relies on bias toward a particular personality trait that leads to a false generalization, whether positive or negative. It was first empirically supported by Edward L. Thorndike (1920) in a study that asked army officers to rate their soldiers. The halo effect is also caused by the influence of preconceived notions, assumptions, or traits. This effect also encompasses the perception of positive qualities in one thing or one part that later gives rise to the perception of similar qualities in related things. Solomon Asch, for example, found that attractiveness gave the impression, false or true, of competence in other personal traits. The reliance on such wrong impressions contributes greatly to cognitive errors and bias ...

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