CHAPTER 1: INTRODUCTION
Background of the Study
The reality of the ostensible halo effect has been recognized for a very long time. It refers to a cognitive prejudice in which an individual’s judgment of another person’s character is shaped by his or her overall impression. This cognitive bias is evident in a wide range of situations such as courtroom, classroom and in everyday interaction. According to Fox, Bizman, & Herrmann (1983), halo effect has frequently been viewed as an insidious cognitive prejudice in subjective assessments of performance. Despite its definitions being much discussed, almost all of them converge on the point that prejudice functions to inflate the covariance of various evaluation by similar rate, comparative to those that would have occurred if the prejudice were absent (Johnson, 1963). Subjective evaluations of performance occur in various contexts such as educational assessments, job performance ratings, judging of artistic or sporting performances, and assessments of scientific work. The contexts in which subjective ratings occur differ along various dimensions. According to Schuld, Muller, & Schwarz (2012), the rating might be based on a certain piece or performance of work. Dennis (2009) affirms that the rater might know the ratee individually by reputation. Raters might also recognize that their assessments can be judged against those of other judges. In spite of these potential significant variations, modern research on halo effects has been focused largely towards ratings of occupational performance. The present literatures have also focused on the effect of the foregoing dimensions of the context in which rating occurs (Schuld, Muller, & Schwarz, 2012).
Nevertheless, halo effects are significant to any context in which ratings are deployed to offer feedback on performance. Raters who rate various aspects of a certain piece of work might understate inconsistencies in the achievement of various dimensions (Johnson & Vidulich, 1956). According to Johnson & Vidulich (1956), halo effects might also cause raters, dealing with various pieces of work from one person, to underestimate changes in performance. Such effects of assimilation and contrast, whereby changes in performance are overstated, have been seen in literatures concerning performance appraisal. Nevertheless, despite the possible importance in a wide range of setting, the generalization of halo effect remains uncertain (Schuld, Muller, & Schwarz, 2012). O’neal (1971) argues that the impact seems far from omnipresent. However, much of evidence on which these impacts rely on depends on the methods for detecting halo. Though many demonstrations that halo errors are not taking place are questionable, some of the process resulting in them might be specific to certain contexts (Fox, Bizman, & Herrmann, 1983).
The attractiveness of an individual has also been found to cause halo effect. According to Johnson & Vidulich (1956), attractiveness offers a valuable aspect of halo effect to consider. This is because of its complicated nature. Attractiveness might be influenced by various specific traits of an individual. The physical characteristics, such as hair, weight, eye and color, of an individual contribute significantly to perceptions of attractiveness. For example, an individual is perceived as attractive partly because of physical traits. These perceptions of attractiveness might influence the judgments tied to traits of personality. The effect of attractiveness in producing halo effect has been shown by various studies. For instance, recent researches have demonstrated that attractiveness might influence perceptions tied to personality and life success (Schuld, Muller, & Schwarz, 2012).
Aims and Objectives
There are some doubts concerning the interpretation of facts (Schuld, Muller, & Schwarz, 2012). Usually, the connection between trait ratings is viewed as an error judgment. Raters usually have a generally unfavorable or favorable attitude toward every individual, which influences his ratings of the individual on each rating (Fox, Bizman, & Herrmann, 1983). Unfavorable and favorable attitudes of raters play a pivotal role during the assessment of a certain piece of work. In this regard, this research will have the main objective of determining how halo effect affects grading of students. The study used the following research hypotheses in order to fulfill its objectives:
H1: Personality of raters influences his or her rating of the student project;
H2: Attractiveness of the student caused halo effect among students who rated others;
H3: Halo effect affects judgment on intelligence and competence on academic tasks; and
Significance of the Study
Many professors, instructors or teachers might grade the exams of students in conventional manner. They might pick up one test booklet at time and read the student’s essays in immediate succession. After reading the essay, they would grade and compute the total before going on to assessing the next student. It is possible for the assessor to notice that his or her evaluations of the students work in every booklet were markedly homogeneous (Johnson & Vidulich, 1956). This is an indication of halo effect exhibited by the grading used by the assessor. It is possible that some students are likely to be given the benefit of doubt. This is because a student who might have done well in certain part of the test or project cannot make vague statements (Schuld, Muller, & Schwarz, 2012). In addition, if a student writes two essays, one that is weak and the other that is strong, the assessor might end up with different final grades based on the essay he or she read first (Schuld, Muller, & Schwarz, 2012). In this regard, this study will be significant to both raters, including professors, instructors and teachers, and students. This study will explain how assessors can deal with the problem of halo effect during the process of grading students. On the other hand, students will benefit because the study will explain some of the unfairness present in their grading system.
This first chapter offered an insight to the background knowledge and objectives of the research. The second chapter, referred to as literature review, provides some of existing and prior literature, which have discussed the impacts of halo effects on student grading. The third chapter, which also referred to as research methodology, provides a comprehensive overview of the study methods used. The research methods chapter consists of research designs and their respective justifications in relation to achieving the objectives of the research. The fourth chapter, which is also referred to as interpretations and findings, offers a descriptive analysis and the presentation of the collected data from the research. Besides providing descriptive analysis and presentation, this chapter interprets the gathered according to the research hypothesis in order to arrive at valid conclusions. The last chapter that is referred to as conclusions and recommendations concludes the study by summarizing the whole report.
In summary, the research had the main objective of determining how halo effect affects grading of students. Halo effect is evident in a wide range of situations such as courtroom, classroom and in everyday interaction. Halo effect has frequently been viewed as an insidious cognitive prejudice in subjective assessments of performance. The contexts in which subjective ratings occur differ along various dimensions. Nevertheless, halo effects are significant to any context in which ratings are deployed to offer feedback on performance. Usually, the connection between trait ratings is viewed as an error judgment. Raters usually have a generally unfavorable or favorable attitude toward every individual, which influences his ratings of the individual on each rating. This study will be significant to both raters, including professors, instructors and teachers, and students. The following chapter provides a detailed knowledge about the smoking behavior among students.
Dennis, I. (2009). Halo effects in grading student projects. Journal of Applied Psychology , 92 (4), 1169–1176.
Fox, S., Bizman, A., & Herrmann, E. (1983). The halo effect:Is it a unitary concept? Journal of Occupational Psychology , 56, 289-296.
Johnson, D. (1963). Reanalysis of experimental halo effects. Journal of Applied Psycholoty , 47 (1), 46-47.
Johnson, D., & Vidulich, R. (1956). Experimental manipulation of the halo effect. The Journal of Applied Psychology , 40 (2), 130-134.
O’neal, E. (1971). Influence of future choice importance and arousaluponthehaloeffect. Journalfof Personality and Social Psychology , 19 (3), 334-340.
Schuld, J., Muller, D., & Schwarz, N. (2012). The “fair trade” effect: health halos from social ethics claims. Social Psychological and Pe~ona’ity Science , 1 (1), 1-9.