Breaking the Barrier of Implicit Bias- Understanding and Overcoming It

horns and halo effect

Are you concerned about biases and discrimination?

Despite laws and regulations, discrimination of all kinds is out there.

If you’re looking for a job, the employer might think you’re too old, too young, or too diverse, or not diverse enough.

Or a potential employer or client might not hire you because they don’t feel like you’re a good fit.

There’s something about you that they don’t like. Maybe something they can’t put their finger on.

Of course, they might feel an instant connection to you, and the uncomfortable feelings might be yours.

So I want to share something I learned about as a recruiter.

It’s the Horns and Halo effect.

Simply put, it’s those feelings, positive or negative, that we sometimes feel about someone when we meet them.

It’s implicit bias based on emotions, good or bad; they have about someone else that we remind them of.

Remember that those feelings can be conscious or unconscious, AND bias can be favorable as well as unfavorable.

And those feelings can lead to unconscious discrimination.

For example:

😈 You might instantly dislike someone who reminds you of a former boss or coworker you didn’t get along with or a grumpy neighbor, or maybe an ex-boyfriend you dislike. That’s the Horns effect.

😇 Or you may instantly feel a connection to someone if they remind you of a coworker or boss you enjoyed working with or a favorite college roommate or longtime friend. That’s the Halo effect.

So next time you instantly connect with or dislike someone you’ve just met or just don’t know very well, think about why.


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