Comment on Halo Effects in Rating and Evaluation Research



This paper considers the existence of halo effects in individuals' evaluations of target communicators across different dimensions. Halo effects result from raters' inability to discriminate among conceptually distinct and theoretically independent aspects of a target's behavior. Halo error has also been defined as the influence of global attitudes on evaluations of individual attributes of a person (Nisbett & Wilson, 1977). The primary consequence of this “top-down processing” is to cause dimensional rating intercorrelations to be inflated. The first part of this article discusses current conceptions of halo error and suggests several potential sources of halo error. The measurement of true and illusory halo is then considered and recommendations for minimizing halo error in communication measurement are outlined.