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[Halo effect] "What is beautiful is good"

[Halo effect]  "What is beautiful is good" [Halo effect]  "What is beautiful is good"
Source : Mike Ludlow, Oct. 1953, "Only A Paper Moon"
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#Beauty
#cognitive biases

Also known as the physical attractiveness stereotype and the "what is beautiful is good" principle, halo effect, at the most specific level, refers to the habitual tendency of people to rate attractive individuals more favorably for their personality traits or characteristics than those who are less attractive.

Halo effect is also widely used in a more general sense to describe the global impact of a likeable personality, or some specific desirable trait, in creating biased judgments of the target person on any dimension. Thus, feelings generally overcome cognitions when we appraise others. This principle of judgmental bias caused by a single aspect of a person is grounded in the theory of central traits: Asch (1946) found that a man who had been introduced as a "warm" person was judged more positively on many aspects of his personality than when he had been described as "cold." Dion, Berschcid. and Walstcr (1972) asked students to judge the personal qualities of people shown to them in photos. People with good-looking faces, compared to those who were either unattractive or average-looking, were judged to be superior with regard to their personality traits, occupational status, marital competence, and social or professional happiness. This effect was not altered by varying the gender of the perceiver or the target person. A reverse halo effect can also occur, in which people who possess admired traits are judged to be more attractive. A negative halo effect refers to negative bias produced by a person's unattractive appearance. Halo effect occurs reliably over a wide range of situations, involving various cultures, ages. and types of people.

It affects judgments of social and intellectual competence more than ratings of integrity or adjustment (Eagly, Ashmore, Makhijani. & Longo, 1991). Attempts to evaluate individuals' job performance are often rendered invalid by halo effect: Ratings given by coworkers commonly reflect the attractiveness or likeability of the rate rather than an objective measure of his or her actual competence.

Halo effect also distorts judgments of the guilt of a defendant and the punishment he or she deserves. Raters may be given specific training in an attempt to reduce halo effect, very specific questions may be used, or control items may be included to estimate this bias. The stereotype that attractive individuals possess better personal qualities is typically false in an experimental situation, where degree of beauty may be manipulated as a true INDEPENDENT VARIABLE and assigned randomly to individuals (e.g., by photos), but in real life, it may be true for certain traits. People who are beautiful, for example, may actually develop more confidence or social skills, creating a self-fulfilling prophecy.

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