Why People Often Judge A Book By Its Cover

The Halo Effect

3 min readMay 18, 2022


Photo by Maria Eduarda Loura Magalhães from Pexels

The reason we judge a book by its cover is because of the “halo effect.”

According to social psychology, we experience this “halo effect” because:

  • We don’t want to be wrong about our perceptions of first impressions of the other person. Thus, we disregard any other facts which might prove us wrong. One prime example could be attractive people. We tend to assume that an attractive person will have a more fascinating personality compared to a less attractive individual.

But we don’t experience this halo effect in terms of people only. In our everyday lives, we often use products by being blindsided by their eye-catching packaging and premium-tagged branding.

Some of the obvious scenarios of the marketing halo effect could be:

  • Preference for visual designs

When choosing any particular brand, we unconsciously prefer to choose those brands that have more visually appealing designs.

According to a study published in the Journal of Consumer Psychology, researchers found that products with aesthetically pleasing packaging “are chosen over products with well‐known brands in standardized packages, despite higher prices.”

  • Positive perception of a brand

Automobile companies usually excel at this by using the halo effect to their advantage. They portray the car model as limited production to give the illusion of luxury and premium quality.

Although their car offers are rarely profitable, still some car fanatics would fall for their halo effect trap.

  • The website visuals

Nowadays, almost all businesses have a digital footprint thus, websites play an integral part in their business activities. Also, businesses have learned well how to lure their customers to their websites.

According to a research study, websites that are visually appealing to their users tend to have higher satisfaction ratings despite lacking any usability function.

Basically, the visual designs created a halo effect that influenced the user experience positively.




Ph.D. Candidate (Mgmt)| Educator |Content Writer | Writing about things that intrigue my curious mind | https://beacons.ai/afshara17