Does the halo effect occur in the elderly?

Helene Larose1, Lionel G. Standing1
1Bishop's University, Canada
Cite this article:  Larose, H., & Standing, L. G. (1998). Does the halo effect occur in the elderly? Social Behavior and Personality: An international journal, 26(2), 147-150.

Volume 26 Issue 2 | e918 | Published: May 1998 | DOI: https://doi.org/10.2224/sbp.1998.26.2.147

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In this study we examined whether elderly people would show the typical halo effect of attributing more desirable personality traits to those individuals who have attractive faces (Dion, Bercheid, & Walster, 1972). It was predicted that age should bring wisdom, leading to the elimination of this judgmental bias in older people. Fifty-two females (aged 65 or above) were required to match photographs of stimulus persons (attractive or unattractive) with descriptive paragraphs (positive or negative).
Contrary to predictions, the usual halo effect occurred: positive personality characteristics were attributed more frequently to the attractive individuals, indicating that this bias occurs across the lifespan, from childhood to old age. Also, female faces were judged more positively than male faces.
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