B.E. For Dogs: Halo Effect

B.E. for Dogs is a bi-weekly comic series that will examine concepts in behavioral economics from the perspective of our canine companions. Look out for new comics every other week!

The series is created by Matt TrowerCatherine Berman, and Jamie Foehl.

halo effect research | behavioral economics

Halo Effect: The halo effect refers to the tendency to use your first or overall impression of a person to evaluate specific traits that you haven’t actually observed. For example, if you meet someone and think, “That person was really nice,” you might assume that person is also really smart. A number of studies have found that attractiveness can produce the halo effect. In the comic above, the dog with the beautiful fur is erroneously thought to be well-behaved, simply because of their luxurious coat.

The halo effect can have far-reaching consequences, impacting hiring decisions and even political elections. For example, attractive political candidates are perceived as more competent – and they’re more likely to be elected than less attractive candidates.