The halo effect is a type of cognitive bias in which our overall impression of a person influences how we feel and think about his or her character.

Essentially, your overall impression of a person (“He is nice!”) impacts your evaluations of that person’s specific traits (“He is also smart!”).

Halo effect is the tendency for positive impressions of a person, company, brand or product in one area to positively influence one’s opinion or feelings in other areas. It is a type of cognitive bias and is the opposite of the horn effect.

Researchers have found that students tend to rate good-looking teachers as smarter, kinder, and funnier than less attractive instructors. This tendency for our initial impression of a person to influence what we think of them overall is known as the halo effect.

This cognitive bias can have a powerful impact in the real world. For example, job applicants perceived as attractive and likable are also more liable to be viewed as competent, smart, and qualified for the job.

Also known as the “physical attractiveness stereotype” or the “what is beautiful is ‘good’ principle” we are either influenced by or use the halo to influence others almost every day. Think of a product marketed on TV by a well-dressed, well-groomed, and confident woman versus a woman who is poorly dressed and mumbling. Which appearance would be more likely to prompt you to go out and buy the product?

Halo error is a mistake or bias that can occur in evaluating an individual’s performance where they are consistently rated based on the evaluator’s overall impression, rather than on their actual performance in various categories.

Hypnotherapy has been used in many cases to correct the false Halo Effect.

The halo effect is classified as a cognitive bias because the halo effect is a perception error that distorts the way a person sees someone, and cognitive bias is a perception error that distorts the way that people see themselves.