Accuracy measures of absolute and relative performance appraisal methods
Wagner, Stephen H.
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This study investigated the accuracy of two formats for the appraisal of performance, specifically relative and absolute. The primary question of this experiment was whether relative and absolute performance appraisal ratings differ in terms of four components of accuracy: differential elevation (DE), differential accuracy (DA), elevation (EL), and stereotype accuracy (SA). Because relative performance appraisal methods often use global items (performance dimensions), whereas certain absolute performance appraisal methods utilize specific items (critical incidents of behavior), the effect of the type of item rated, specific or global. was also investigated. Eighty undergraduate psychology students viewed four videotaped lecturers and rated their performance 24 hours later with both absolute and relative performance appraisal methods. Relative ratings were more accurate overall than absolute ratings with respect to DA and SA. Also, global items were more accurate with respect to DE and EL, whereas specific items were more accurate with respect to DA and SA.