Psychonomic Science

, Volume 22, Issue 4, pp 231–233 | Cite as

Anticipated choice, attention, and halo effect

  • Judson Mills
  • Edgar O’neal
Human Learning & Thinking Social Processes


An experiment was conducted to clarify the interpretation of a finding by O’Neal and Mills that the anticipation of making choices about other persons increases the intercorrelation of traits attributed to those persons. An attention interpretation of their finding assumes that greater attention was paid to the choice stimuli and that increased attention increased the intercorrelation of traits. Although the O’Neal-Mills finding was obtained, no support was found for either of the assumptions of the attention interpretation. Ss did not spend longer ranking the choice stimuli, and a successful manipulation of attention did not increase the intercorrelation of the rankings. It was concluded that a desire for certainty about the prospective choice provides the best explanation of the influence of anticipated choice on the halo effect.


Careful Instruction Halo Effect Large Photograph Negative Contrast Effect Choice Stimulus 
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Copyright information

© The Psychonomic Society, Inc. 1971

Authors and Affiliations

  • Judson Mills
    • 1
  • Edgar O’neal
    • 2
  1. 1.University of MissouriColumbiaUSA
  2. 2.Tulane UniversityNew OrleansUSA

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