Essay on Halo Effect

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The halo effect refers to a bias whereby the perception of a positive trait in a person or product positively influences further judgments about traits of that person or products by the same manufacturer. One of the more common halo effects is the judgment that a good looking person is intelligent and amiable.

There is also a reverse halo effect whereby perception of a negative or undesirable trait in individuals, brands, or other things influences further negative judgments about the traits of that individual, brand, etc. If a person "looks evil" or "looks guilty" you may judge anything he says or does with suspicion; eventually you may feel confident that you have confirmed your first impression with solid evidence when, in fact, your
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That is the principal flaw in the research of Jim Collins’s Good to Great, Collins and Porras’s Built to Last, and many other studies going back to Peters and Waterman’s In Search of Excellence. They claim to have identified the drivers of company performance, but they have mainly shown the way that high performers are described.

The fact is, despite the success of books like From Good to Great, it is not logically justifiable to infer the goodness (or badness) of a company's strategy, values, or leadership based on the fact of the success or failure of the company. The reason is obvious. Many companies go from good to bad and don't change their strategy or their leadership. But there is a natural bias to attribute good qualities to management and leadership when a company is successful and to attribute bad qualities to management and leadership when a company is failing.

When the athletic team succeeds or fails, the coach is often assumed to be a genius or an idiot, but the same coach doing the same things year in and year out has some successful years and some years that are failures. Yet, many people are quick to give credit for the success of a team to the coach when the team wins, conveniently forgetting that the same coach led the team

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