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The Halo Effect

Thursday, October 05, 2006
If you were to look up "The Halo Effect" in the Wikipedia, you'd see (among other information) the following:
In brand marketing, a halo effect is one where the perceived positive features of a particular item extend to a broader brand.
Now, this is, of course, after the scientific explanation of the Halo Effect that goes something like, "[it] refers to the cognitive bias in which the assessment of an individual quality serves to influence and bias the judgment of other qualities." Yeah, yeah, that's nice. Usually, it's seen in the marketing world referring to the iPod (I swear I was going to write that before I saw it mentioned in the Wikipedia article) wherein many Apple products are "cool" because the iPod "roxxors" (this isn't, of course, to imply that they weren't cool before the iPod.)

To paraphrase Newton, however, for every effect there is an equal and opposite anti-effect. In this case, Wikipedia refers to it as the "horns effect". For instance, imagine you're in politics. If you're suddenly highly unpopular or really creepy, all of a sudden anybody who's been seen with you is highly unpopular. (This could also be due to the snake-like backstabbing nature of politics, though. It hasn't been scientifically proven one way or the other.)

Anyway, this is what happens when yours truly (that's Burton 2.0 for the rest of you) thinks about something, decides to write about it... and THEN does the research.

Class dismissed.

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