On this week's episode of “This is Your Brain on Sports” podcast, Jon Wertheim and Sam Sommers discuss the halo and pitchfork effects in sports.
“This is Your Brain on Sports” is a weekly podcast from Sports Illustrated in which SI executive editor Jon Wertheim and Tufts University psychology professor Sam Sommers explore the intersection of sports and human nature—what the world of sports has to teach us about who we are, what we care about and the forces that shape our behavior.
On this week’s episode, Sommers and Wertheim discuss the halo effect—the cognitive bias where your overall impression of a person impacts your evaluations of that person's traits. Sommers discusses some of the classic experiments that illustrate this effect and the pair talks about this bias in the sports-scape and everyday life. How does the halo effect—also sometimes dubbed the pitchfork effect—relate to Tom Brady and Bill Belichick? What does physical appearance have to do with NFL quarterbacks?