Appraisal Errors

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Common Appraisal Errors
Error Contrast Effect Definition Tendency of a rater to evaluate people in comparison with other individuals rather than against the standards for the job Example Think of the most attractive person you know and rate this person on a scale of 1 to 10. Now think of your favorite glamorous movie star. Rerate your acquaintance. If you rated your friend lower the second time, contrast effect is at work. A new supervisor noticed an employee who was going through a divorce performing poorly. Within a month the employee’s performance returned to its previous high level, but the supervisor’s opinion of the individual’s performance was affected by the initial negative impression. George’s outstanding writing ability caused his supervisor to rate him highly in unrelated areas where his performance was actually mediocre. Carol was a single mother with four children and was promoted to supervisor. Unknowingly she rated several other women who were also single mothers higher than their performance warranted.

First impression error

Tendency of a rater to make an initial positive or negative judgment of an employee and allow that first impression to color or distort later information

Halo/horns effect

Inappropriate generalizations from one aspect of an individual’s performance to all areas of that person’s performance

Similar-to-me effect

The tendency of individuals to rate people who resemble themselves more highly than they rate others

Central tendency

The inclination to rate people in the middle scale even when their performance clearly warrants a substantially higher or lower rating

Because Harold had a concern that he would not be able to deal with confrontation during an appraisal session, he rated all of his employees as “Meets Expectations.” Susan rates all of her employees higher than she feels they actually deserve, in the hope that this will cause them to live up to the high rating. While Carl sets impossibly high...
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