University of California
Type of paper: Thesis/Dissertation Chapter
The Halo and Devil effect
In this world people are judged more often then people are hired for jobs. Most of us all go by the first impression of a person. This can either be good or bad. In the movies Legally Blonde and The Blind Side the Halo and Devil effect is shown and is a very significant issue in both films. These movies also tie in with articles on how beauty is the judging factor into getting jobs and that they show a better performance when working. Also having to do with the Halo and Devil effect. The Halo and Devil effect kind of go hand in hand.
The Halo effect is the habit of rating a person high on their performance and the devil or horn effect is contrast of the halo effect. It is ranking them low on their performance due to the first impression the person has of them. A great example of the devil effect turning to the halo effect is in the movie Legally Blonde. The main character Elle Woods had a very bubbly personality and came straight out of a college sorority. Her and her boyfriend Warner were getting ready to graduate from college and Warner was planning on going to graduate school.
Elle, who was very in love with her boyfriend thought he would propose but since Warner got accepted to Harvard he decided to break up with her because he is going into law and he needed someone who was more “serious”. So she decided to prove to him she was a very serious person by going to Harvard as well in the hopes of winning his love back. Now as the movie goes on she finally gets into Harvard and as soon as she gets there she was judged upon her looks and “dumb blonde” behavior. In comes the devil effect. Off rip they began to criticize her because she didn’t fit into the Harvard look.
She looked like a Barbie doll. She just didn’t look smart enough to be a law student. Therefor they then looked down on her and played her for a fool. But as time went on it wasn’t about Warner anymore it was about her showing what she was made of and proving to people she wasn’t as dumb as she looked. By the end of the movie she was assigned a murder trial and she wowed everyone by making the witness exposed themselves by revealing that they were the one who actually killed the murder victim. After that the halo effect then took over.
She graduated with honors and began her career, as a lawyer because they then assumed since her performance on this one trial was so good her performance on anything will be just as good. Her looks also got her where she wanted to be. Even though they were judging her on her looks it sparked attention to all. In the movie her boss made a move on her and told her that if she slept with him she could get the law internship. A scholar from the website Above The Law made a valid point on how looks are everything in the workplace. She said “First, there’s the eye candy factor: they are just plain nice to look at.
If you’re going to spend hundreds of hours in a windowless conference room with a colleague — and possibly hook up with this person after one too many all-nighters — wouldn’t you like him or her to be hot? ” (Above The Law) The movies view on the halo effect was basically don’t judge a book by its cover and the scholar point of view was saying yes, the book should always be judged by its cover. In the article “Mental Model: Horns Effect and Halo Effect. ” Joshua Kenon stated “Attractive people are, on average, though to be more intelligent even though this isn’t true.
Overweight people are thought to be lazy” (Kenon). Which in reality Isn’t always true. In the movie “The Blind Side” an African American male was took in from an all white family. In the film the main character is a lost soul. He is searching for his mother but instead finds a mother figure who ends up being Caucasian. She takes this lost child and shows him all that he can get out of life. Before he became a professional football player the woman put him through school and he was judged as a hoodlum with no knowledge of anything.
This boy was very big and people were also scared of him. Right there shows an example of the devil effect. They didn’t know what he was capable of. They just thought well since he looks the way he does he must not be smart or even have a sense of knowledge. But little did they know he has a special talent and that was on the field. Once they realized he was good at football, the halo affect went in overdrive. They started to cheer him on, support him in his football dreams and he then started being noticed by scouts from colleges.
Not only was he good at sports but he proved them wrong and gained knowledge. He passed with flying colors and showed them that he was more than just football player or even worse a useless hoodlum. Psychological theories like the halo and devil effect show us awareness on reality. Both characters from each film showed and proved that no book should be judged by its cover, also that people can change for the better all circumstances are not the end all and be all. On the grater scale the lesson to be learn we must think before we act, and think before we judge.