• Join over 1.2 million students every month
  • Accelerate your learning by 29%
  • Unlimited access from just £6.99 per month

Halo-Devil effect

Extracts from this document...


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 they would generalise it to other, unrelated traits of the individual, for example, if a person found an individual attractive, they would automatically assume other positive traits of this person such as intelligence and popularity even though these traits are unrelated and have little bearing on each other (the Halo effect). ...read more.


This enables the researchers to gain a large sample with relative ease and enables the selection of participants from around the United Kingdom whilst restricting it to students to form a generalisable random sample of students. Materials Pictures will be collected from the website www.myspace.com to ensure participants do not identify with other characteristics of the person in the picture; if a celebrity is used then participants may be affected by the Halo and Devil effects for different attributes, for example, if a picture of Dylan Moran is used then participants may not find him attractive but may rate this high due to the fact that they find him funny (the Halo effect). This would add a bias to any data collected and make it difficult to generalise from this. The questionnaire will contain four Likehert scales numbered 1 (lowest) to 5 (highest) and asked to rate the person they see in terms of intelligence, success, attractiveness and popularity. Procedure Thirty-eight participants will be e-mailed the link to a questionnaire and asked to complete it. The questionnaire will contain four pages, each page will contain the image of one person with four Likhert scales below the image, participants will be asked to rate these people between 1 and 5 in terms of their intelligence, success, attractiveness and popularity (in that order). The four images will be one attractive male, one unattractive male, one attractive female and one unattractive female. ...read more.


Deviation 0.766 0.732 0.926 0.777 0.858 0.786 0.835 0.649 Fig3. Bar Chart showing the rating of each question for males Fig4. Bar Chart showing the rating of each question for females Discussion The results of this experiment show very little support for the Halo and Devil effect; the majority of the variables have error bars that overlap significantly, however, there is a significant difference in the success ratings for males, and the popularity ratings for females, this can lead to an acceptance of the directional 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."). This research can be applied in everyday life in terms of advertising, if a well known celebrity sponsors a particular brand then people may become attracted towards that brand merely because of the positive traits of the sponsor, rather then the actual quality of the brand. However, more research is needed to clarify that the Halo and Devil effect exist; this research demonstrated very weak support that could lead to a false conclusion; despite the acceptance of the hypothesis there was still no significant difference between two of the three traits, furthermore, the intelligence rating for the less attractive male went up, this implies severe questions to whether the conclusions of this study can be supported. Furthermore, an unreliable sampling method was used, opportunity sampling, whilst easy for a researcher, will not always yield a representative sample making the sample lack generalisibility. ...read more.

The above preview is unformatted text

This student written piece of work is one of many that can be found in our University Degree Psychometrics section.

Found what you're looking for?

  • Start learning 29% faster today
  • 150,000+ documents available
  • Just £6.99 a month

Not the one? Search for your essay title...
  • Join over 1.2 million students every month
  • Accelerate your learning by 29%
  • Unlimited access from just £6.99 per month

See related essaysSee related essays

Related University Degree Psychometrics essays

  1. Do leading questions have an effect on eye witness testimony?

    This statistical test showed that the results were insignificant. This meant that the experimental hypothesis can be rejected and the null hypothesis, which stated that leading questions have no effect on the number of incorrectly recalled events, can be accepted Discussion: Explanation of findings: The statistical analysis conducted showed that the effect of leading questions was not as prominent as thought.

  2. The researcher is studying anxiety disorders, more specifically phobias and whether a person's fear ...

    Schimdt's supports this with his study using recruits to the US Air Force Academy. These recruits went through gruelling basic training, and Schmidt assessed the cognitive tendency to respond anxiously to one's own bodily sensations. Schmidt concluded that those recruits who were more sensitive to their own physical feelings at

  1. This study will only look at two (of many) facial characteristics being symmetry and ...

    Secondly, another reason may be due to women's expectations and need of a partner. As Little et al (2007) stated there is a possibility that some women may choose a long term partner whose asymmetric appearance reflected traits such as co-operation and paternal care.

  2. An experiment into the stroop effect

    11 10 Boy 2 b, e, a, f, c, d 10 10 9 10 15 13 14 14 Girl 2 c, f, b, e, a, d 6 6 8 7 13 15 14 14 Boy 3 b, d, a, e, c, f 8 8 8 8 12 12 12 12

  1. Construction of a questionnaire to measure

    This value of 0.541 is less than the set level, meaning the questionnaires are testing for two different variables. Factor Analysis A factor analysis was carried out in order to identify how many factors the items in the final questionnaire had.

  2. The aim of this study is to establish a link between depression and a ...

    Researchers have looked to theories of human behaviour to account for the many women dealing with eating disorders. Harrison & Cantor (1994), for example, used Bandura's social learning theory as an explanation for the act of engaging in disordered eating.

  1. The Influence of Physical Attractiveness

    and also the anonymity of the participants has all be taken into account to ensure that the experiment was ethical. The independent variable was the attractiveness (attractive, unattractive) of the picture that was matched with the crime. The dependent variable was the amount of years in prison the defendant was sentenced.

  2. Free essay

    Research examining personality, gender and culture has shown that links between these concepts are ...

    apply than the Allport's model, it was failed to replicate entirely (Howarth & Brown,1971; Eysenck & Eysenck, 1985) with 12 of 16 primary factors (Noller, Law & Comrey, 1987).This flaw makes Cattell's model fail to well represent the personality trait structure.

  • Over 160,000 pieces
    of student written work
  • Annotated by
    experienced teachers
  • Ideas and feedback to
    improve your own work