Yesterday, I was sitting with my two college friends. We were having good time. We talked about our various past colleges experiences. Remembering all that really made us nostalgic. We also talked about campus placements. There, I recalled one interesting incident happened with me during tough time of campus placements. After my failure to get job in initial two mechanical companies, I decided to appear for IT companies also. So it was my first IT company and I went all the way to final round clearing all rounds in first go. I still remember the nervousness that I felt while I was sitting in hall waiting for my turn. Then my name was announced and I stood up and went to the cabin where interviewers were sitting. While entering the cabin, I pushed the door in and within a fraction of second I heard big sound of ‘THUD……’
I noticed that there is ‘PULL’ sign on door and yet I pushed it. I realized my mistake but I eventually entered in interviewers’ cabin by pulling the door backwards. The interview went well and now we are waiting for results. Results came and I wasn’t selected. I was initially disappointed but then I started to analyze reasons behind it. I couldn’t think of anything. Suddenly I recalled the mistake which I did at the door. Yes, that was the moment where I messed up my first impression. I started to think about all other incidents where I missed chances because I failed to make a good first impression. Now I understand there could have been other reason for my failure than the stupid door thudding mistake. But still first impressions are really important.
Hereafter, I specifically paid attention to give good first impressions by avoiding any such mistakes. I took it further and started searching about first impressions. I found that people often judge another person by his first impression. Such cognitive bias is known as ‘Halo Effect’ which causes our impression of a person in one area to influence our opinion in other area. Halo effect was first coined by psychologist Edward Thorndike in 1920. There is considerable research done on it.
We humans, basically have tendency of judging people. Halo effect creates judgement discrepancy and lead to many errors. It is not only limited to professional world but it has also seen in schools. Teachers often think that well behaved student is also the most intelligent student in the class which is not always true. In movies, we have seen that positive character is mostly good looking and nicely groomed while negative character is untidy and bad looking. Love at first sight is also a classic example of Halo Effect. A boy falls in love with a girl at first sight and starts to think that a girl must be intelligent, well behaved and have good manners. Now this might come true but having such judgement beforehand is not always fruitful.
Halo effect is also observed in court of law. A good looking criminal sometimes found soft corner in hearts of jury members. It is evident that halo effect might create some serious issues where some group of people will find themselves at disadvantageous corner.
I would like to suggest that we should keep above findings in mind and accordingly put the best things in our daily usage.