Author Archive

Why Do We Trust Prince Hans? The Halo Effect.

April 12th, 2017 3 comments

Have you ever noticed how in Disney movies, the good guys are always attractive and the villains are… well, not? It seems like Disney tends to make the characters we like attractive, and the characters we dislike unattractive (or maybe it is the fact that they are attractive or unattractive that causes us to like or dislike them, but I’ll get to that in a minute). Take a look at Ursula from The Little Mermaid, Shan Yu from Mulan, or even Scar from The Lion King. What adjectives come to mind when you see these characters? Do you think of them as evil, immoral, or downright terrifying? It takes little effort to be repulsed by these characters, and perhaps it is their— shall we say unsightly? — physical appearance that prompts us to make quick judgements about them. Think of Frozen, for instance, which serves as an exception to the rule that the villain is always unattractive. Did any of you predict that Prince Hans was the villain? I definitely didn’t see it coming. Why was Anna—and why were we, the viewers—so trusting of Prince Hans? The answer may lie in the Halo Effect. Read more…