by Flex Luthor
I'm sure many people associate professional success with long studies followed by countless hours of work, all to the detriment of social life and health. Sometimes friends, family, and regular workouts are sacrificed at the altar of professional success. Of course, the lack of exercise and unhealthy eating habits that come as a result do nothing for one's physical appearance. But hey, you can't make an omelette without breaking a few eggs, right? Well, maybe you can, sometimes.
Did you know that regular exercise and a healthy diet can help you in your professional life? No, I'm not referring to "healthy body, healthy mind ", although that is one of life's truths. What I mean is that improving your physical appearance can improve your life beyond the singles scene. How is that possible? Enter the halo effect.
Briefly explained: if you believe something (a person, product, brand, etc.) has a positive characteristic based solely on an overall impression you have of the subject or another observed positive characteristic, then you have fallen victim to the halo effect. Example: you perceive Subway to be a healthy alternative to other fast food joints; they start selling deep fried pizza bagels; you think "wow, I'm so happy this stuff is healthy", not realizing that Subway food can still be bad for you despite their image as a health conscious brand.
The halo effect is a logical fallacy, a weakness in reasoning to which each of us has very likely fallen victim at one point or another. As it is a very common cognitive process, exploiting it should prove to be rather effective.
Studies have shown time and again that attractive people tend to be perceived as having other desirable traits, such as intelligence and kindness. This kind of reasoning comes at an early age. In one study, kindergarten students had two teachers tell the exact same story. One of the storytellers was an attractive woman, while the other was a more "plain" looking lady. The story was told the exact same way by both women, yet a great majority of the children saw the attractive teacher as smarter and more competent.
The halo effect is not merely faulty logic inherent to young age. It follows an individual all the way to adulthood. An attractive person will have a greater success rate at interviews, will get more opportunities to advance in his/her career, and chances are will fetch a higher salary than other equally qualified, less attractive colleagues.
So listen up, guys. You already have very good reasons to take care of yourself: to live long, be healthy, and steal everyone's thunder at the beach/club/wherever there is thunder to be had. However, just in case that's not good enough for you, know that those almighty gains can also serve you in your professional life.
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