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Lecture 4

PSYC 1F90 Lecture Notes - Lecture 4: Cognitive Bias

Course Code
John Mitterer

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Psyc Seminar: Week 4
1. The halo eect is a cognitive bias in which an observer's overall
impression of a person, company, brand, or product in#uences
the observer's feelings and thoughts about that entity's
character or properties
Refers to the habitual tendency of people to rate attractive
individuals more favorably for their personality traits or
characteristics than those who are less attractive. Halo eect is
also used in a more general sense to describe the global impact
of likeable personality, or some speci&c desirable trait, in
creating biased judgments of the target person on any
dimension. Thus, feelings generally overcome cognitions when
we appraise others."
Researchers have found that attractiveness is one factor that can
play a role. Several dierent studies have found that when we
rate people as good-looking, we also tend to believe that they
have positive personality traits and that they are more
intelligent. One study even found that jurors were less likely to
believe that attractive people were guilty of criminal behavior.
2. One great example of the halo eect in action is our overall
impression of celebrities. Since we perceive them as attractive,
successful, and often likeable, we also tend to see them as
intelligent, kind, and funny.
In the classroom, teachers are subject to the halo eect rating
error when evaluating their students. For example, a teacher who
sees a well-behaved student might tend to assume this student
is also bright, diligent, and engaged before that teacher has
objectively evaluated the student's capacity in these areas.
When these types of halo eects occur, they can aect students'
approval ratings in certain areas of functioning and can even
aect students' grades."
3. Dehumanization
Two ways of dehumanization
Actively dehumanize is the psychological process of demonizing
the enemy, making them seem less than human and hence not
worthy of humane treatment. It is a deliberate strategy, in order
to justify negative thoughts/ actions towards people. This can
lead to increased violence, human rights violations, war crimes,
and genocide. Example the Nazi dehumanize the Jews
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