International Journal of Selection and Assessment

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Volume 4 Issue 4 (October 1996), Pages 169-239

Moderating Effects of Processing Objective, Question Order and Delay on Memory and Judgement (pages 195-214)

The performance appraisal process makes many demands on a manager's cognitive abilities as there are a number of competing requirements. For instance, recalling performance information after a long period of time, determining training needs, ascertaining future objectives, etc. The processing objective present at the time of observation may also influence whether evaluations are made ‘on‐line’ or are ‘memory‐based’. Some research has found that the rating instrument may moderate memory and judgement by making certain information salient (Ilgen, Barnes‐Farrell, and McKellin 1993; Lichtenstein and Srull 1987; Woehr and Feldman 1993). While some studies have investigated both rating and recall order and processing objective, none have investigated both of these factors in relationship to time delay and the influence of impressions that were not directly related to performance. It has been suggested that the tendency to recall impressions of others rather than specific behaviour that lead to these impressions increase over time (DeNisi, Cafferty and Meglino 1984; Kozlowski and Ford 1991; Murphy and Balzer 1986). This study sets out to examine the influence of three variables, information processing objective, order of recall and rating and time delay on the relationship between memory and judgement and the various models important to these processes (DeNisi, Cafferty and Meglino 1984; Woehr and Feldman 1993; Hastie, Park and Weber 1984; Williams, Cafferty and DeNisi 1990). The experiment was a 2 × 2 × 2 between subjects factorial design with three independent variables with 187 students from various disciplines. Support was found for the model of performance appraisal by DeNisi et al. (1984) in that overall evaluations influenced dimensional ratings when a time delay was introduced. However, the hypothesized effect of recall/rating order was in the opposite direction to that expected, indicating that there were additional factors that influenced the relationship between memory and judgement.

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