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Halo-Devil effect

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  • Essay length: 1617 words
  • Submitted: 05/02/2009
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University Degree Psychometrics

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The Halo and Devil Effect: How Our Unconscious Mind Can Affect Our Judgements

Abstract

The Halo and Devil effect proposed by Thorndike (1920) states that when individuals identify one positive trait they will generalise it to a range of other unrelated positive traits, likewise, when a negative trait is identified it will be generalised to a range of unrelated negative traits. This study aims to research into the phenomena with the hypothesis "As participants see a more attractive person, their ratings for that persons' popularity, intelligence and success will go up, despite these being unrelated characteristics." To carry out this research a repeated measures design was used where participants were are asked to rate four people from their photos on a four qualities (attractiveness, popularity, intelligence and success). The results show weak support for the Halo and Devil effect as the only significant difference was between perceived success for males and perceived popularity for females. This study concluded that the Halo and Devil effect exists but further research needs to be carried out to examine the extent of it.

Introduction

Thorndike (1920) claimed that when individuals identified one positive trait of an individual

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