Motivated strategies in the performance appraisal process: Effects of rater accountability
Swerdlin, Marnie Rose
Martell, Richard F.
Master of Arts
Recent performance appraisal research has focused on rater cognitive processes. Instead, this research examined the effects of a motivational variable, accountability, on rater cognitive processes and on performance ratings. In the first experiment, accountability attenuated a primacy effect in evaluative ratings, and, when negative information was presented first, increased the time spent looking at performance information. However, there was no evidence that looking time mediated the effect of accountability on evaluative ratings. In the second experiment, accountable subjects had a more conservative response bias in behavioral ratings relative to unaccountable subjects if evaluative ratings were made prior to behavioral ratings. Accountable subjects who made behavioral ratings first showed no response bias in behavioral ratings although they had less confidence in their ratings relative to other subjects. This research demonstrates that accountability can influence rater cognitive processes and thus performance ratings but that its effects are situational.
Industrial psychology; Social psychology