Lie hard: The effect of self-assessments on academic promotion decisions
Five experiments investigated whether including self-assessments in applications for a promotion might affect their evaluation, and how this effect was influenced by measures taken to reduce or eliminate it. Self-assessments influenced judgment when the applications were judged by novices and experts, and regardless of whether the participants were warned about the unreliability of self-assessments. The effect was reduced but not eliminated if a second set of assessments was available. A similar influence was found when an arbitrary set of ratings was substituted for the self-assessments, and consider-the-opposite arguments to counter the self-assessments functioned in a similar way to that found in previous studies of anchoring. Overall, the effect of self-assessments seems similar to that of anchoring, when information that is known to be unreliable or unrelated to a target variable still affects estimates of the target variable. Practically, including self-assessments as a component of performance appraisal is likely to bias the results.
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