Friday, January 25, 2013

Halo Effect

We live in a world of impressions. When we form mental image about a person, thing, place, or idea that we encounter, we make cognitive judgments that are usually bias. This situation is called halo effect.

I, for one, have a share of halo effects in life. I am usually not a judgmental person but I am like anybody else who naturally have impressions about everything.

I have always defied myself over choosing ordinary books to read. I only have the eye to those novels that bear the names of Sidney Sheldon, Mary Higgins Clark, John Grisham, Lawrence Sanders to name some of my obsessions. Their novels are few of those I instantly loved after reading. Several other novels written by familiar authors flood over the shelves in the bookstores that they become so common and ordinary. It is my impression that nobody buys them because they not that catchy.

Months ago, I randomly added persons in my social networks to increase my blog audience. I have noticed that in the sea of profile pictures appearing in the choices, I tended to favor adding those men and women who look good in their picture as the ones who might be intellectuals. I ignored those who have pictures like animals, flowers, cartoons or quotes because I assume they are the ones who are not interested in reading.

This effect seems to apply the same in my food preference also. 
Remember the once Pipo with a Batang Pinoy seal by Department of Health? For example, years ago I prefer to pick this group of junk foods with health seal claimed to be healthy compared to those other junk foods. Among my health conscious friends, I have observed that they tend to pick canned or packed products that have seal like "it's good for the heart" and the likes over products with no such guarantee.

And the list of halo effects could go on like forever. I am just wondering if I am only too aware of this cognitive thing called halo effect that I become more prone to practice it or do we, humans, just have natural tendencies to make general impressions that bleed over into specific judgments.

Any thoughts about this halo drama?

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