Halo Effect Essay

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The halo effect phenomenon is researched by Nisbett & Wilson (1977) and published in their experimental paper titled The Halo Effect: Evidence for Unconscious Alteration of Judgments and will be the main topic of this paper. The halo effect, also known as the physical attractiveness stereotype is a form of cognitive bias in which we assume that people who are physically attractive are also blessed with other appealing attributes such as kindness and intelligence. Limited information about the halo effect is known, and experiments conducted on the topic are even scarcer. This stereotype is portrayed to us at a young age through most Disney movies where we learn that if something is beautiful it is also good. A prime example is Cinderella and…show more content…
This helps us organize the schemas related to how we see the world despite not always being correct. Assuming that anyone who is kind is also honest and trustworthy is a prime example. That being said self-fulfilling prophecies occur when our beliefs lead us to fulfilling them. If a teacher assumes that a student is intelligent based on factors other than intelligence it can actually push the student to achieve academically. The teacher may dedicate more time to help the student, may call on them more in class, and may give better feedback. If a student believes they are intelligent and capable they are more likely to pursue their studies with greater focus and motivation. What is apparent is that the way people judge and perceive others attributes based on global perceptions and evaluations can in fact affect what opportunities a person is given in life, as well as their…show more content…
Researchers combined the data together for males and females as the results for both genders showed no significant difference. Researchers did not inform the students of the actual hypothesis (as stated above) to ensure genuine and unbiased responses. Students were informed that researchers were interested in knowing whether student’s initial evaluations of a professor were identical to evaluations students had reported after spending an entire semester with him. The independent variable of interest was the psychology professor whom was manipulated to play the role of a likeable, respectful, flexible and enthusiastic professor in interview number one, and an unlikeable, cold, untrusting and dictative professor in interview number two. To ensure a baseline for appearance in both interviews the researchers showed participants either tape one or tape two interviews without any sound. Students were asked to rate his physical appearance and only a miniscule difference was noted. Interview questions were also operationalized to be the same in both interviews to avoid inconsistency. Students were split into groups to watch one of the two interviews containing the same professor. The dependent variables used included the professor’s perceived likeability, and characteristics including physical appearance, mannerisms and accent which were measured
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