What are Halo and Horn Effect?

When our first impression of somebody leads us to have a biased positive or negative opinion of their work or company is Halo and Horn Effect.

The Horn effect is a type of cognitive bias that happens when you make a snap judgment about someone on the basis of one negative trait.

An example of the Horn effect is when a company releases a bad product that destroys loyalty and positive market perception. The common halo effect example is attractiveness.

Unconscious bias refers to different qualities and social categories, such as race, gender, or disability, and the judgements are made without conscious awareness. These biases can affect decision-making in the workplace in which the halo and horn effect is one of them.

What Causes Halo and Horn Effect

The Halo effect occurs when our positive impression of people, brands, and products in one area leads to having a positive feeling about someone in other areas. This cognitive bias leads to often casting judgment without a reason.

The human brain categorizes information through the lens of your memories and experiences. This effect is a type of cognitive bias, that happens when they make a quick judgement about someone on the basis of one trait.

The psychological state of the receiver influences how the message is received, every person in this world has their own perspectives about people, events, and situations.

A person suffering from the halo effect welcomes ideas and suggestions from only the people they like the most and rejects the ideas of others. The horn effect is the tendency to underestimate and dislike a person because he is not good in one of the fields. This affects the quality of communication between individuals because they dislike each other.

The Difference between Halo and Horn Effect

The opposite of the horn effect is called the halo effect. The horn effect attributes negative qualities, whereas the halo effect attributes positive qualities.

The halo effect enables us to have a positive first impression of somebody leading us to overlook the negative characteristics and treat them more favorably than others.

The horn effect enables one to have a negative impression of somebody based on one negative aspect of their character, and not treat them in the way they deserve because of it.

How Does It Affect the Recruitment Process?

These biases around perceived negative aspects can have a huge impact on the organization’s recruitment process. The halo effect when hiring can look like believing a candidate is trustworthy and intelligent because they’re outwardly confident, tall, or well-groomed

The horn effect when hiring can be caused by the language they speak, which is different from the company’s and can affect the other positive traits of the candidate by not properly communicating the ideas to the manager.

The halo effect compels the recruiters to treat some candidates more favorably. 

Many managers prefer to favor some employees all the time because they are good in one of the fields.

How to Prevent the Halo and Horn Effect

Managers must make sound decisions in the workplace without bias clouding their judgement. The halo and horn effects influence these types of decisions in the recruitment process and have to ascertain each characteristic of a person while recruiting them into the organization.

Having two or three interviews with different people in the hiring panel can greatly reduce the halo effect. Involving multiple individuals in the hiring panel, provides the candidate with a more fair and accurate assessment and offers the company a better assessment of candidates.

The Halo effect works both in positive and negative directions. If you like one aspect of someone, you may have a positive predisposition towards everything about it. If you dislike one aspect of someone, you may have a negative predisposition toward everything about it.

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

1. How do you avoid the halo effect in interviews?

Having two or three interviews with different people in the hiring panel can greatly reduce the halo effect. Involving multiple individuals in the hiring panel, provides the candidate with a more fair and accurate assessment and offers the company a better assessment of candidates.

2. Why does the halo effect happen?

The halo effect occurs when the positive impression of people, brands, and products in one area lead to a positive feeling in another area. This cognitive bias leads us to often cast judgment without having a reason.

3. What is the difference between the halo and horn effects?

The Halo effect is a positive impression that leads to treating someone more favorably. The horn effect is the negative impression that leads us to treat someone less favorably.

4. What is an example of the halo effect in the workplace?

The halo effect happens when you judge a person by qualities, such as physical appearance. For example, a well-dressed worker might be judged to be more competent than the other worker wearing a simple T-shirt.

Final Thoughts

The halo effect is a type of cognitive bias in which the overall impression of a person impacts the evaluation of that person’s specific traits in a positive manner. The opposite of the halo effect is the horn effect named after the horns of the devil, which is negative.

The horn effect is closely related to the halo effect, which is a form of cognitive bias that causes one’s perception of another to be unduly influenced by a single negative trait. The horns effect causes people to have a negative view of someone based on surface-level impressions. Involving multiple interviews with different people reduces the impact of horns and the halo effect.

Hiring managers tend to favor people who are similar to them, and whose beliefs will likely cooperate with them. Most people are genetically programmed to value similarity, rather than explore different values and cultures. Once a hiring manager develops a positive attitude towards a particular candidate who reminds them of others their decision-making can further explore reasons to continue liking them. 

 

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