July 31, 2016
July 31, 2016
**Warning, this is NOT a political post**
Okay, maybe I would actually need a warning if it was a political post. I’m actually just using a political example as a starting point…
I watched a video last night where supporters of a particular candidate were read statements that they thought he had said (Hitler actually said them) and the supporters rallied behind these statements. Now I know how the media works here. Good video footage means showing the handful of people that look foolish because the video is more likely to go viral. This one did not disappoint.
In the video, the interviewer tells a guy that the statements are actually from Hitler and asks the guy if he still supports the statements. The guy responds, “I don’t support Hitler. But if Trump said it then I support the statements.”
The video is really supposed to point out how people blindly follow some of the candidates without using critical thinking to determine who should get their vote. But, the reality is that there is something about the human condition that causes us to rally behind some people and not others; to see tons of positive characteristics when others see none, or the opposite, to see all the bad and not the good.
Ever heard of the halo effect?
The halo effect is a psychological principle that says we are likely to see someone as all good or all bad. We have a hard time seeing that a person can have both good and bad characteristics. This concept was discovered by Thorndike back in the 20’s when he saw correlations between a soldier’s physique and intelligence when rated by others. If the soldier looked more fit, he was also observed by others to be smarter. In psychological research, there are several studies to show that we believe things about someone’s character based on the outer appearance of the person.
And how does this tie into marriage?
Even in marriage we can get wrapped up in the halo effect. In fact, prior to getting married many couples have a hard time seeing the “bad” characteristics or qualities in their soon to be spouse. They really believe that their marriage will not be as hard as others they’ve seen, they won’t disagree as often as other couples, they’ll not go through times when they feel distant from one another… (more…)