How My Attitudes, Perceptions, and Behaviors Are Affected by Halo Effect, Stereotyping, and Selective Perception.

Sometimes perception becomes a tangible issue when it comes to communication with others and the environment, and many factors can influence the relationship positively and negatively. In the essay, I reflect on how such effects as the Halo effect, Stereotypes, and Selective Perception influence my mental picture of the world. First, I will define and explain the concepts and then give examples from my professional experience.

To see the core difference between attitude, perception, and behavior, I sketched a scheme below:

Project copy

Paying attention that our mental image of reality is subjective, I start by explaining what definitions I consider for attitude, perception, and behavior today.

Attitude is a standpoint or opinion toward a particular object, person, or event (Cherry, 2021, para 1). It is formed from the learning experience, social factors, observation and can change. Thus it is a “tendency to see things in a certain way” (Cherry, 2021, para 4) and have ABC components:

Affective component (emotions);

Behavioral (or conative) component (actions);

Cognitive component (knowledge and thoughts).

Attitude is a result of either a thinking process or without conscious reflection. For instance, “a man who has an unfriendly attitude toward foreigners will show dislike of most foreigners he meets or hears about” (VS Pages, 2020, para 2).

Perception is “a sensory experience,” an ability to identify and interpret information about people and the environment using five senses: touch, sight, sound, smell, and taste (Cherry, 2020). “Here perception amounts to apprehension or intuition” (VS Pages, 2020, para 1). As a set of senses, it also involves “the ability to detect changes in body positions and movements” (Cherry, 2020, para. 2).

Behavior is an action, a set of ways a person conducts oneself, resulting from either attitude or perception.

Now we focus on the potential pitfalls that might occur in the context of attitude, behavior, and perception: Halo effect, Stereotypes, and Selective Perception.

Stereotypes are categorizing others based on general opinion or preconceived image of people with a particular trait.

Selective perception is a “process of screening out information that we are uncomfortable with or that contradicts our beliefs” (GreggU, 2018).

The halo effect “is when we form a general impression based on a single (typically good) characteristic.” (GreggU, 2018).

I find the three biases affect my attitudes dramatically due to particular circumstances. Interestingly, the halo effect and stereotyping reflect the opposite attitudes towards others using the only reference. In my case, there is a tendency to categorize people at the first meeting to draft a personality and behavioral pattern. Over time the stereotype vanishes by putting the experience of communication with the person in front. It seems I need reference points when meeting new people and cannot work blindly in a professional sphere. In my personal life, on the contrary, I feel comfortable digging and investigating without labeling as there are fewer responsibilities for the result of our communication. Thus, stereotyping is beneficial for me in collaboration with new team members and collaborators.

Meanwhile, no one is immune from personal triggers in the professional field. I might perceive the work environment from a more challenging perspective as it is triggering old issues. For instance, I could take the use of power from a group leader as an offensive act while it is just a way to organize the process. In this sense, selective perception and projection come along, and the first one triggers the second and vice versa.

As for the halo effect, the information is new for me, and I hardly observe the influence of bias in my life. Nonetheless, it is likely to have a negative connotation than positive, as when we idealize people for their strengths or desired traits, the end is pretty similar. Sooner or later,  the awareness of reality comes with frustration.

To sum up, our body and mind perceive and reflect on the reality in various ways. Thus, it is essential to learn organizational behavior to mitigate perception-biased effects, manage successfully, and build a conducive work environment.


Cherry, K. (2020, July 09). What Is Perception? Verywell Mind.

Cherry, K. (2021, February 21). Attitudes and Behavior in Psychology. Verywell Mind.

GreggU (2018, November 3). Perceptions in Organizations. [Video]. Youtube.

VS Pages (2020, August 03). Perception vs. Attitude. VS Pages.

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