Research Article
The Halo Effect as a Teaching Tool for Fostering Research-Based Learning

Lars Behrmann

APA 6th edition
Behrmann, L. (2019). The Halo Effect as a Teaching Tool for Fostering Research-Based Learning . European Journal of Educational Research, 8(2), 433-441. doi:10.12973/eu-jer.8.2.433

Behrmann L. 2019 'The Halo Effect as a Teaching Tool for Fostering Research-Based Learning ', European Journal of Educational Research , vol. 8, no. 2, pp. 433-441. Available from:

Chicago 16th edition
Behrmann, Lars . "The Halo Effect as a Teaching Tool for Fostering Research-Based Learning ". (2019)European Journal of Educational Research 8, no. 2(2019): 433-441. doi:10.12973/eu-jer.8.2.433


Teachers’ use of everyday cognitive heuristics can lead to biases in information processing and, thus, to unfair assessments of student characteristics. This problem can be addressed by a core aspect of research-based learning, i.e., by making use of principles and methods of empirical research in order to systematically collect information. However, pre-service teachers’ attitude towards the use of empirical research methods is usually rather low. To foster their attitudes, a total of 444 student teachers were confronted with their own biased perception during a methodology course. Biased perception was triggered by a halo effect inducing experiment. In a subsequent semester, n = 113 of these students participated in an online survey. They answered questions about their cognitive activity and affective reaction following the presentation of the results of the experiment. Moreover, they reported about perceived attitude changes towards systematic thinking and research methods. The results demonstrate the successful implementation of the halo effect, which affected the students cognitively and emotionally. Structural equation modelling showed, that attitude change was dependent on both cognitive and affective reactions. The findings indicate that the halo effect is not only easy to implement in university courses but also appears to have substantial impact on students’ attitudes towards research-based learning.

Keywords: Halo effect, research-based learning, teacher education, research methods, teacher attitudes


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