This study replicated and refined research on the effects of escalation of commitment in performance ratings. We utilized experimental manipulations in a laboratory setting to determine whether positive escalation or negative escalation (or both) could be responsible for the effect. In one session, participants (N = 210) were assigned to the perspective of the potential employee's supervisor and chose 1 of 2 candidates for a sales position. In a second session, participants rated the performance of (a) the individual they selected; (b) the individual they rejected; or (c) a third individual, whose preselection information they never viewed. Results replicated previous findings, such that ratings were biased upward when participants rated the performance of the salesperson they had originally selected. Results were not biased downward when individuals rated the performance of the salesperson they had rejected, however. Thus, our results suggest that positive escalation, and not negative escalation, was the cause of the bias.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Applied Psychology
- Organizational Behavior and Human Resource Management