Thesis

Effects of expectation of discussion and type of scale on ratings of leniency in performance evaluations

The effects of expectation of discussion and rating scale type on errors of leniency in performance evaluations were examined. Forty-eight undergraduate psychology students observed three interviews between a graduate student and a "stooge" posing as a candidate for the teacher-intern program. Half the subjects were under the assumption that their ratings would be discussed with the candidates and the other half that their ratings would remain confidential. Half the subjects rated with a mixed-standard scale and the other half with a behaviorally anchored scale. The major hypotheses tested were: (1) that expectation of discussion would increase leniency and (2) the mixed-standard scale would reduce halo and leniency. Results show no significant effects of expectation of discussion on leniency. The comparison of skewness resulted in significantly higher leniency for the mixed-standard scale. Some support for the hypothesis that the mixed-standard scale reduces halo was provided by the trait intercorrelations and the variance of the rating distributions.

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