The Halo Effect

In 2009, Beyonce released her hit song called ‘Halo’. In the song Beyonce is singing about her love for a person with this magical Halo, about how this Halo is her saving grace.

Halo’s are also associated with Angels and religious figures. A Halo being that little circle on an a head indicated that it that thing is somehow sacred or divine.

Halo’s being associated with perfection, love and good times is nothing unusual. In fact, there is a psychological phenomena called the Halo Effect that explains how we can place metaphorical Halo’s on other people and things.

The Halo effect is

the tendency for positive impressions of a person, company, brand or product in one area to positively influence one’s opinion or feelings in other areas.

The original discovery of this effect came from studying the effect of attractiveness on other characteristics.

Consider the following example,

We have person A and person B.

A is not very attractive. A shows up in clothes that are ragged. They have a horrible haircut and smell.

B on the other hand is a specimen. They are very well groomed with nice shoes and a slick haircut.

Who do you think is more intelligent out of these two people? Despite having no information about their educational background or previous performance, we all assume that the well dressed people are more intelligent.

This effect is the Halo Effect.

The Halo effect is present in many areas of our lives, but in particular in Relationships, Investments and Wealth.

Relationships ๐Ÿ”—︎

We create Halo’s around people and things that we have a positive impression of.

It also means that, in those people we think well of, we ignore bad attributes and only focus on the good ones.

When you first start dating someone, things are going very well. It seems as though the person we are with has no flaws at all. That is, until around the 6 month mark when the Halo effect around that person starts to wear off. Instead of forgiving the other persons bad attributes, they now get noticed much more. While there may have been no disagreements or arguments until this point, this is where they can start to creep in.

Investment ๐Ÿ”—︎

When people invest more they get more out of it because the Halo Effect is being triggered by the investment.

When someone pays 10k for a course or thing, they now have skin in the game to want that thing to be good. They use it often and seek to get the most out of it. This concept is clear when we consider things that are paid vs free.

Recently a course was given to me and my club at University. Since we recieved this for free, participation has been very low and even now I think everyone has forgotten that they were even enrolled in it. If we had to pay to get into the course, we would likely all have paid much closer attention and aimed to get a lot more out of it.

Wealth ๐Ÿ”—︎

There is a Halo Effect of relative wealth, you think that those things hold the keys to your happiness.

What we don’t notice is all the potential negatives that come with more wealth. Things like higher demands on your time and higher stress may make the juice not worth the squeeze.

The Halo effect means your first impressions are key! Make them count.