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The Halo Effect

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Introduction

Halo effect occurs in a situation where one attribute of an individual is used to make a judgment about this individual in all situations. If an individual is making impression of being acceptable or worthless, corresponding conclusions are likely to occur in all other circumstances as longer as they are related to the first impression made (Rose, 2005). A halo effect occurs in day to day life and cannot be totally eliminated. Factors that lead to halo effects are many. For example, color, size, age or even sex just to mention but a few can all initiate a halo effect.

Appointment and Interview Process

When hiring new employees, halo effect comes into play. At the interview, the first impression that the interviewee makes determines whether he/she gets the job or not. If an interviewing panel is of the idea that an individual is impressive from the start, this impression might be carried on even to areas where the interviewee is weak and hence being unfair (Rose, 2005). In a case where the first impression is not all that impressive, the eventuality is that there is extremely minimal chance of changing it later, and thus the individual will be at the losing end. Halo effects make people have a formed opinion based on a singular impression they see.

Halo effect can be based on factors such as the physical appearance of an individual, the color, disability or even sex (Rhode, 2010). Some people believe that, some jobs are best done by certain gender. Hence, if an individual of a certain gender shows up for an interview, whether being skilled or not, the interviewer will already have a formed mind that the person is incapable of doing the job because of some gender biases. In the process of appointing new employees, halo effect comes into play. The result of halo effect is that some people with high ability, and ‘good job qualification may be denied opportunities because of one’s ability to make terrific impression on the panel (Slocum, 2007).

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 “Do not judge a book by the cover” is often said, but again beauty lies in the eyes of the beholder. The halo effect has sunk deep in the minds of many. In the movie, “The Devil Wears Prada”, halo effect is evident in the boss being so dreadful that the employees think they are in hell. All the rage of the boss is baseless because all employees are working as expected. Halo effect is in most cases a baseless conclusion of person’s goodness or badness without any reason. When halo effect crops up in an organization the boss can develop a soft spot for some employees while treating others badly. The dutiful employees will continue to be good while the so called contrite ones remain to be as such (Smart, 2007).

Color of an individual will influence the impression that the interviewer will have on a person. Racial discrimination is likely to occur, if an interviewer has a disliking for a given group of people. The physical appearance of an individual may lead to discrimination as well. For example, some jobs require people with build muscles. In such a case people other than those with strong muscles will be blocked out even if they have all the qualifications. Some people have formed opinions that short people may be slow performers, but that is not always true. In case, such a conclusion is drawn some the individuals will be on the losing end. Halo effect is detrimental in any organization that is aimed at achieving the best results. Its manifestation can eventually lead to under-performance of individuals who are robust, but whom others have labeled as failures. The halo effect is baseless and should be shunned at all cost so as to enhance fairness to all people (Rose, 2005).

Perception of a given person will cause a change of behavior so that this person can meet the expectations that others have for him/her. In the process, the expected result will always be found at the expense of the chance of the person’s real personality. Halo effect can serve to be positive. If there is a high expectation for a given individual, he/she will be obliged to work extra hard so as not to let their admirers down. In this case, the end results will be high performance in general (Slocum, 2007).

My View about Halo Effect

 Personally, I consider any liking for a particular thing or person to be stereotype because of a first time impression is often being biased. Judgments based on first impression can welcome shock later when the outer impression fails to reflect the same quality of the person being in reality. In the movie, “Devil Wear Prada”, the boss Miranda happens to be an extremely tyrannical boss who never excuses employees and gives them a hard time. Once I used to have such a boss, no matter how much effort I put in working, the return was nothing more than complaints of the poor quality work I had done.

Conclusion

Halo effect may lead to favoritisms at the place of work during work sharing, promotion programs, appointment and even employees’ appraisal. Beliefs that attractive employees are more honest and do their work wisely are not true. The attractive individuals will usually get better jobs and responsibilities than people who are considered to be less attractive (Kanhere, 2012). Halo effect can be avoided in an interview by not making snap judgment based on some aspects of personality traits such as color, the physical appearance and gender (Jackson, 2011). Otherwise, the interviewer should consider the job that is available and the suitability of the interviewee based on evaluation of merits and candidate’s ability to perform in that particular field.

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