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The Halo Effect: The Psychology of Good Looks and Occupational Success

In conclusion, the halo effect is advantageous to good-looking people in terms of occupational success not because of their good looks per se. One great reason why the halo effect takes effect is the perception of the people around these good-looking people.

When a handsome and kind Asian math professor speaks with an Asian accent, the American students tend to deem Asian accent to be attractive. But if a not so good-looking and cruel Asian math professor speaks with the same Asian accent, his American students will most likely deem Asian accent to be despicable. This is the halo effect, the tendency of generalizing all the attributes of a person based on his or her most dominant trait, be it positive or negative.

This halo effect works as a benefit for good-looking people. It is their good looks that make all their other attributes look good, as well. This is what directly attributes good looks to success. Several studies have attempted to corroborate this link between physical aesthetics and success, particularly when it comes to occupation.

In terms of occupation, studies shows that good-looking people achieve more occupational success than their equivalents that are not as attractive (Feng, 2002). According to Williams (2011), it seems that appearance, good looks in particular, is still significant regardless of the advanced developments in Human Resources hiring and compensation systems. As the halo effect explains, good-looking applicants tend to be deemed more competent than those who are not as good-looking but with almost the same competency. On the other hand, Raghunathan (2011) states that good-looking individuals who create their credentials early may obtain the halo effect advantages without undergoing the good looks consequence while those who undertake monkey business or make ridiculous statements may be deemed as brainless.

While most people want to think that good looks is not a major factor in the hiring, promotion, competence, and wages of executives, as Williams (2011) puts it, it seems that it is. Before having a chance to assess the personality, people tend to inevitably classify others founded on cultural typecasts. This is explained by Feng (2002) by saying that good-looking people accomplish more in life because these cultural typecasts say that good-looking individuals ought to be essentially good while unattractive persons should be intrinsically bad.

In conclusion, the halo effect is advantageous to good-looking people in terms of occupational success not because of their good looks per se. One great reason why the halo effect takes effect is the perception of the people around these good-looking people. In other words, no matter how good-looking applicants try to impress the hiring department and no matter how good-looking employees ingratiate themselves to their bosses using their physical beauty, their unattractive counterparts will be given a fair play if the employers choose to do so.

References:

Feng, C. (2002). Looking Good: The Psychology and Biology of Beauty. Journal of Young Investigators

Raghunathan, R. (2011). Sapient Nature- Bite-sized insights on the human condition. Psychology Today

Williams, R. (2011).Wired for Success- How to fulfill your potential. Psychology Today 

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Comments (1)

interesting, thanks

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