The halo effect is an erroneous assessment of personality traits. In this case, known traits are inferred to be unknown traits, although they are not related.


A person is perceived as likeable and it is automatically assumed that he or she is also very intelligent. However, there is no indication of the person's level of intelligence.

Another person is perceived as unfriendly and based on this it is assumed that he is egoistic. However, there is also no evidence for the supposed egoism.

Angel or Devil?

Based on the two examples, it can already be seen that the halo effect can have both a positive and a negative impact. Therefore, in the case of a positive, cognitive distortion, we speak of the halo effect (which obviously has given the effect its name) and in the case of a negative distortion of the devil horns effect.

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