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J Appl Psychol. 1996 Dec;81(6):717-37.

Organization of information in memory and the performance appraisal process: evidence from the field.

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School of Management and Labor Relations, Rutgers University, New Brunswick, New Jersey 08903-5062, USA.


No studies dealing with cognitive processes in performance appraisal have been conducted in field settings, raising questions about the usefulness of this research for practice. The field experiments described here, conducted in 2 organizations, were designed to evaluate interventions that laboratory research has suggested enable raters to better organize performance information in memory: structured diary keeping and structured recall. After these interventions, raters had more positive reactions to the appraisal process, were better able to recall performance information, and produced ratings that were less elevated and better able to discriminate between and within rates. The implications of these results for practice and for cognitive research in performance appraisal are discussed, along with the limitations of these studies and the problems with criteria for evaluating ratings in the field.

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