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Contrast Effect - Meaning & Definition

Published by MBA Skool Team in Human Resources Terms Last Updated: April 07, 2023Read time:

What is Contrast Effect?

Contrast effect is adding or reducing value to subjects / objects, what we perceive & how we analyze them as compared to a normal case. Contrast effect changes the perception for the good or the bad, when exposed to a relatively bad or good subject respectively. 

Perception transformation happens only when we are subjected to various changes that affect our thoughts & beliefs. This is basically about making one feel the difference after making him go through a series of related changes. This change could be either for betterment or for negative causes, for success or for failure.


1. Simultaneous Contrast: Technique where one pattern is dependent on the other pattern. Basically making use of illusions.

Example, the stripes on zebra or a tiger is simultaneous contrast, where it is black on white or vice versa in case of zebra.

2. Successive contrast: It could be considered a modified version of perception. An impact is caused after being exposed to some other perception for a period of time.

Example, A person working for T&D when shifted to marketing for some months could later prove to be a good talent acquisition member as he is exposed to the various market scenarios & demands.

3. Meta-contrast: It makes use of time & space, where the effect of one dominates the other for a fraction of time.

Example, A newly recruited fresher, would have troubles getting used to the rigor of everyday life in the office for a period of time.

4. Para-contrast


1. If implemented in a proper alignment, it has the potential to bring about a long term change for the person.

2. It could also help us determine & discover some underlying talent & skills for the people.

3. This could benefit the person in knowing himself or herself better


1. Learned helplessness

2. If implemented in a wrong way, has the potential to cause long term damage to the person & the organization.

3. Resistance to change may cause stress & lifestyle change, which may affect the person in the long run.

Thus the idea of contrast effect is to contribute to working on the perception management of Human Resources, and influencing them in the best possible manner.

Hence, this concludes the definition of Contrast Effect along with its overview.

This article has been researched & authored by the Business Concepts Team which comprises of MBA students, management professionals, and industry experts. It has been reviewed & published by the MBA Skool Team. The content on MBA Skool has been created for educational & academic purpose only.

Browse the definition and meaning of more similar terms. The Management Dictionary covers over 1800 business concepts from 5 categories.

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