Have you heard the saying “First impression is last impression”? Well it turns out that this saying is a lot more true than you might have first thought.
The Halo Effect is a psychological phenomenon in which a person’s overall initial impression of another person impacts their evaluations of their specific traits and abilities. For example, if you see a person who is dressed in a very nice suit, you may more likely be to assume that person is also intelligent, successful, honest and upstanding. Of course you do not exactly know if these assumed traits are true, and this is why the halo effect exists.
The first known recognition of this psychological phenomenon dates back to 1920 in a paper written by Edward Thorndike. Thorndike’s paper stated that peoples judgement of a person are colored by our impression of that person as opposed to actual fact.
To help you truly understand, here is a good example of the halo effect in action:
You meet a girl at a party. And notice that she is extremely attractive, very nice, and very caring. You soon assume that this girl is the kind of girl that would love to donate generous amounts of money to charity. This is because you associate the traits of being very nice and very caring with being very generous. Of course this girl may actually NEVER donate to charity, but your impression of her misled you to assuming that she is the kind of girl that donates money to charity.
So now you can see why the halo effect can be very misleading. And now you have a better understanding of why properly introducing yourself to people is important right? But now you might wonder just how you can use the halo effect to your advantage! Let’s explore how you can use the halo effect to put your more impressive and better self on display, and reap the rewards.
Here are 3 ways in which you can reap the rewards of the halo effect:
Method 1: Dress Well!
This one may seem obvious but it is extremely important! By enhancing your clothing style, you are going to have more frequent, warm and positive social interactions with people that you meet. You will get more dates, more business contacts, more friends and more repeat interactions with people in general. Like it or not, people definitely judge you based on how you dress!
Method 2: Re brand Your Business!
You know that really cheap and crap logo they you may or may not have representing your business? Yeah, that is costing you money. And potentially a lot of it! A professional, appealing logo and a nice business display can be the difference between people considering what you have to offer, or walking right past your door. Branding is a perfect example of the halo effect in action. Why do you think McDonalds, Toyota & Apple spend BILLIONS every year on their public image? It’s because they know that this money is money well invested, not money wasted. Again, the halo effect is a big reason for this.
Method 3: Make sure to make an impact when meeting people!
A warm handshake, a big smile and a positive greeting goes a long way. This could be the difference that lands the dream job, gets you remembered, builds trust and makes you seem pretty darn outstanding in general. Yet, another easy way to use the halo effect to your advantage.
So now you know what the halo effect is, how important it is and how you can use it to your advantage!
Remember: “First impression is last impression”.