What exactly is the Halo Effect?

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A psychology textbook provides a "simplistic" definition of the Halo effect as a subjective bias about a person's one outstanding trait extending to influence the total judgment of that person. E. L. Thorndike's 1920 paper titled "A Constant Error on Psychological Rating", published in Journal of Applied Psychology first documented this perception error (wahrnehmungsfehler) with regard to rating employees. This has also been followed up by Phil Rosenzweig's book on the same topic called The Halo Effect... and Eight Other Business Delusions That Deceive Managers. Thorndike therein defined the halo effect as "a problem that arises in data collection when there is carry-over from one judgment to another." Related Articles • Law of Proximity • Hawthorne Effect • Peter Principle He further expanded that it is "...an extension of an overall impression of a person (or one particular outstanding trait) to influence the total judgment of that person. The effect is to evaluate an individual ... more
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