Home » Well-being » Horn effect: this is how our negative prejudices act

Horn effect: this is how our negative prejudices act

Spread the love

Human beings are imperfect. Because of the biological inheritance of our most primitive ancestors, people conceive an image or first impression of others in a matter of seconds. This phenomenon is attributed to the speed and agility of the brain to decide and act as appropriate. Well, the Horn effect is something similar: it turns out to be a tendency to form a negative opinion of someone based only on a simple and little meticulous observation.

Prejudices as a starting pointhorn effect

Before entering fully into the technical definition of what the Horn effect implies, we have to understand something fundamental about human behavior. We are social beings, we need acceptance by others and make a good impression. We can not avoid it, we want to always be part of an identity, of a group. As usual, in the same way, that we give an image or another intentionally, we also think about others. We constantly pre-judge, and we do it in a pessimistic way and many others in an optimistic way. Let’s see what is said so far.


What is the Horn effect? horn effect

The Horn effect is everything antagonistic to the Halo effect. The latter consists of the generation of a favorable opinion about a person as a whole, based on the observation of a single characteristic that defines it: normally, it’s physical aspect. We build a fictitious mental framework based on the very limited information.

On the contrary, the Horn effect simplifies the perception of the observed from the attention fixed in the negative. When we join a football team, we pay attention to the harangue that the coach plays. According to the tone, the gesticulation and the vocabulary used, we will think that he is a serious person, with a tendency to a state of tension and anger. Once the session is over, it turns out that he offers to transport us to the address and we have a nice chat with him. Once again, we break the psychological mold that we had mounted.

In a somewhat summarized way, both the Halo effect and the Horn effect are biased and subjective views that have been analyzed by our cognitive abilities. Selective attention to the traits we look at is also part of this process. Sometimes, we insist on continuing to draw a bad (or good) image of that person to maintain our pre-established beliefs.

You may read also:42 Changes You Can Do in Your Lifestyle for a Healthier, Happy Life

In the labor market… horn effect

We live in a time when everything counts, every detail adds or subtracts, every word denigrates or praises, and in the workplace, this is a very dangerous trend. Especially when making a selection of personnel. According to statistical data, 80% of new candidates do not successfully complete the personal interview.

There are many times when we go to a job interview, with the profile more than adequate, fulfilling one hundred percent all the requirements demanded by the job offer, and we return home disappointed and without having acceded to the position. For both good and bad, the Horn effect has a terrible impact on the selection process of candidates seeking a new professional opportunity.

According to a study revealed by the economic newspaper Expansión, more than 80% of potential candidates for a new job lost time depositing CVs or attend interviews called by companies. The managers or managers of Human Resources do not spend more than 1 minute reading the CV or, in many cases, they throw away half of them due to lack of time. They are fixed in the minimum, and an opinion is formed from very few data.

Some guidelines to avoid the Horn effect horn effect

To begin with, we have to insist on the idea that it will be practically impossible to avoid making value judgments about others. We are human beings, and it is a completely natural tendency. However, below you will find some recommendations to follow to avoid, as far as possible, this behavior.


When we are immersed in an analysis at first sight of a person that we have just met, and we realize the aspects that we highlight, we will have to take stock. If we look closely at the negative, we will have to look for the positive, and vice versa. Only then will we approach a better perception of what we observe

Be patient and avoid precipitation

We always hurry on everything. We live in a moment in which everything happens very fast, anything is instantaneous and consumption is immediate. That also happens at the human level. You have to take time, interact more with that person and then evaluate their personality.

Do not trust the first impression

The Horn effect responds as it could not be otherwise, to a first impression. This point is correlated with the previous one. De must insist Experiences with the person of which we have a bad personal relationship. Maybe one is in one way at work, and another diametrically opposed in social life.

Share opinion with others

In some situations, we are a group or duo of people who know another or others at a certain time. A highly recommended advice is to exchange opinions with the partner . It is surprising to see how different ways of analyzing the elements radically change value judgments.

The author is an expert on occupational training and a prolific writer who writes extensively on Business, technology, and education. He can be contacted for professional advice in matters related with occupation and training on his blog Communal Business and Your Business Magazine.

, ,

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *


This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.