Psychology of First Impression: The Halo Effect

Ever wondered why attractive faces are seen more on receptions of renowned hotels and hospitals, ads and TV commercials or why the air hostesses of reputed airlines look so appealing? People who consider physical attractiveness a secondary or less important trait while choosing a candidate suitable for a specific job, may need to think again, thanks to the theory of Halo effect.

The Halo effect

From the tiny benches of kindergarten to the sophisticated corporate buildings, Halo effect touches each one of us in some way or the other. Much of the impression we make about a person’s ability and character is influenced by our likeliness for that person. Some desirable qualities in a person make us believe firmly in his/her ability to perform a specific task as compared to a person who seems less appealing to us.

                                                Halo effect- first impression

When Halo effect misleads us…

As I mentioned earlier that  more a person impresses us, the more respect he earns from us. For ex- A shabbily dressed guy may seem dull to us as compared to an attractive youth in Armani suit. Though many-a-times we do understand that the potential of a person should not be judged by the way he looks or presents himself but still we fall prey to this psychological tendency to judge people based on our fondness for them which often results in selecting wrong candidates for the wrong jobs. Sad isn’t it?

Halo effect in marketing

We like what we like. Marketers were quick to realize the potential of this psychology and act accordingly. Having celebrities as brand ambassadors, using the voice of influential personalities to endorse an event or linking a popular music with a product are some of the best examples of Halo effect where the users actually believe what they hear from these celebrities and as a result their opinion about the brand improves. Now that is what I call a clever way of marketing.
One more example is using the popularity of a product ‘A’ which has gained huge response in recent times while marketing for a new product ‘B’ in its genre. In this case too, while buying the new product, people actually trust the service and satisfaction they got from ‘A’.

Prepare yourself

Since it is a human weakness to fall for attractive attitude, the best thing to do is to prepare yourself to grasp the maximum attention possible. Now before you start underestimating yourself let me tell you that you need not be a Brad Pitt look alike or have a voice like Britney Spears to impress people. Be what you are. On any given day an original is worth more than a duplicate piece. Each one of us has some unique characteristics which separate us from others. All it takes is to recognize those hidden traits and use them wisely.

You do not need extraordinary talents to impress people

Be proud of yourself and communicate confidently with people around you. Keep in mind the following points below:
i) A good sense of humor; ability to strike out interesting conversations.
ii)If you can sing or dance, you have the added advantage of getting close to people. (P.S.- you need not be an expert performer for this.)
iii) Show your confident side: Irrespective of what you do, do it with confidence.
iv)Dress neatly: Shabbily dressed guys often end up inviting negative remarks from the people around them. So dress neatly.
v) Do not show unnecessary attitude. Stay polite and sober: There is a huge difference between personality and attitude. Understand the fact that no one likes to have an arrogant and self obsessed person around them.
vi) Do not copy: It is okay to have someone as a role model; someone whom you admire. But it is definitely not acceptable to copy him/her 24×7. Stay genuine.
Flaunt a smile, greet people with confidence and carry a positive attitude wherever you go.

A positive living and self development blogger and motivator.
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