Tag Archives: Christopher K. Hsee

Comparative Rankings May Reduce Gender Bias in Career Advancement

Iris Bohnet

Iris Bohnet

An “evaluation nudge” is a decision framing aid that may reduce biased judgments in hiring, promotion, and job assignments, according to Harvard’s Iris Bohnet, Alexandra van Geen, and Max H. Bazerman.

Alexandra van Geen

Alexandra van Geen

Based on their research, they recommended that organizations evaluate multiple employees  simultaneously rather than each person independently.
This approach contrasts widespread practices like “Stack Ranking” (“Rank and Yank”), advocated by GE’s Jack Welch and critiqued in a previous blog post .

This approach is frequently used for hiring decisions, but less frequently when considering employee candidates for developmental job assignments and promotions.

Max Bazerman

Max Bazerman

Bazerman and Sally B. White, then of Northwestern with George F. Loewenstein of Carnegie Mellon, provided the original demonstration of preference reversals between joint and separate evaluation.

George F. Loewenstein

George F. Loewenstein

Lack of comparison information in separate evaluation typically leads people to rely on internal referents as decision norms, though these may be biased or stereotyped preferences, according to Princeton’s Nobel laureate Daniel Kahneman and Dale T. Miller of Stanford.

Dale T. Miller

Dale T. Miller

Additionally, lack of comparative referents can lead evaluators to rely on easily calibrated attributes, found University of Chicago’s Christopher K. Hsee.
Both of these shortcuts can lead to biased decisions, which may systematically exclude members of under-represented groups.

Christopher K. Hsee

Christopher K. Hsee

Still another problem is the “want/should” battle of emotions and preferences, outlined by Bazerman and Ann E. Tenbrunsel of Notre Dame, with Duke’s Kimberly A. Wade-Benzoni itheir provocatively titled article, “Negotiating with Yourself and Losing.”

Ann E. Tenbrunsel

Ann E. Tenbrunsel

They argue that the want self” tends to dominate when deciding on a single option because there’s less information and less need to justify the decision.
In contrast, the more analytic “should self” is activated by the need to explain decision rationales.

Kimberly Wade-Benzoni

Kimberly Wade-Benzoni

Bohnet’s team asked more than 175 volunteer “employees” to perform a math task or a verbal task, then 554 “employer” evaluators (44% male, 56% female) received information on “employees’” past performance, gender, and the average past performance for all “employees.”

“Employers” were paid based on their “employees’’” performance in future tasks, similar to managerial incentives in many organizations.
Consequently, “employers” were rewarded for selecting people they considered effective performers.
Based on information about “employee” performance, evaluators decided to:

  • “Hire” the “employees,” or
  • Recommend them to perform the task in future, or
  • Return to “employees” to the pool for random assignment to an employer.
Keith E. Stanovich

Keith E. Stanovich

The Harvard team found that “employers” who evaluated “employees” in relation to each other’s performance were more likely to select employees based on past performance, rather than relying on irrelevant criteria like gender.

Richard F. West

Richard F. West

In contrast, more than 50% of “employers” evaluated each candidate separately without reference to other “employees,” selected under-performing people for advancement.
Only 8% of employers selected under-performers when comparing “employees” to each other, and multiple raters for multiple candidates also tended to select the higher performing “employees.”

Team Bohnet suggested that people have two distinct and situation-specific modes of thinking, “System 1” and “System 2,” illustrated by University of Toronto’s Keith E. Stanovich and Richard F. West of James Mason University.

Keith Stanovich-Richard West System 1- System 2 ThinkingThese varied cognitive patterns can lead evaluators to select incorrect decision norms, leading to biased outcomes.

As a result, decision tools like the “evaluative nudge” decision-framing can reduce bias in hiring and promotion decisions, leading to a more equitable workplace opportunity across demographic groups.

-*What other evaluation procedures can reduce unconscious bias in performance appraisal and career advancement selection processes?

Related Posts:

Twitter:  @kathrynwelds
Google+
Facebook

©Kathryn Welds

Advertisements

“Emotional Contagion” in the Workplace through Social Observation, Social Media

Many people have observed that emotions can be “contagious” between individuals, and can affect work group dynamics.

Douglas Pugh

Douglas Pugh

Emotional contagion is characterized by replicating and matching emotions displayed by others, and differs from empathy, which enables understanding another’s emotional experience without actually experiencing it, according to Virginia Commonwealth University’s S. Douglas Pugh.

Adam D I Kramer

Adam D I Kramer

In addition to direct interpersonal contact, “viral emotions” can be transmitted through social media platforms without observing nonverbal cues, according to Facebook’s Adam D. I. Kramer, Jamie E. Guillory of University of California, San Francisco and Cornell University’s Jeffrey T. Hancock, suggesting further impact of social media on workplace interpersonal relations and productivity.

Jeffrey Hancock

Jeffrey Hancock

They found that when positive emotional expressions in Facebook News Feeds were reduced, people produced fewer positive posts and more negative posts.
In contrast, when negative emotional expressions were reduced, the people reduced negative posts, indicating that people’s emotional expressions on a massive social media platform like Facebook influences others’ emotions and behaviors.

Sigal Barsade

Sigal Barsade

Much empirical evidence shows that people in task performance situations are influenced by observing others’ emotions.
One example is performance in a decision-making task changed after people observed a trained confederate enacting mood conditions, according to Wharton’s Sigal Barsade.
When participants observed positive emotions, they were more likely to cooperate and perform better on group decision-making tasks.

People who tend to be more influenced by others’ emotions on R. William Doherty’s Emotional Contagion Scale also reported greater:

  • Reactivity
  • Emotionality
  • Sensitivity to others
  • Social functioning
  • Self-esteem
  • Emotional empathy

They also reported lower:

  • Alienation
  • Self-assertiveness
  • Emotional stability
Stanley Schachter

Stanley Schachter

Likelihood of being influenced by others emotions increases when individuals feel threated, which increases affiliation with others, according to Stanley Schachter‘s emotional similarity hypothesis.

Brooks B Gump

Brooks B Gump

This link between mimicking others’ emotions and perceived threat increases when people believe that others are also threatened, found Syracuse University’s Brooks B. Gump and James A. Kulik of University of California, San Diego.

Elaine Hatfield

Elaine Hatfield

Women in diverse roles (physicians, Marines, and students) reported greater emotional contagion of both positive and negative emotions on Doherty’s Emotional Contagion Scale.
Observers also rated these women as experiencing greater emotional contagion than men in research by Doherty with University of Hawaii colleagues Lisa Orimoto, Elaine Hatfield, Janine Hebb, and Theodore M. Singelis of California State University-Chico.

James Laird

James Laird

Further, people who are more likely to “catch” emotions from other are also more likely to actually feel emotions associated with facial expressions they adopt, reported Clark University’s James D. Laird, Tammy Alibozak, Dava Davainis, Katherine Deignan, Katherine Fontanella, Jennifer Hong, Brett Levy, and Christine Pacheco.
This finding suggests that those with greater susceptibility to emotional contagion are convincing actors – to themselves, and maybe others.

Christopher K. Hsee

Christopher K. Hsee

Contrary to expectation, people with greater power tend to pay more attention to and adopt emotions of people with less power, found University of Hawaii’s Christopher K. Hsee, Hatfield, and John G. Carlson with Claude Chemtob of the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs.

Participants adopted the role of “teacher” or “learner” to simulate role-based power differential, then were videotaped as they observed a videotape of a fictitious participant discussing an emotional experience.
Volunteers described emotions they experienced as they watched the confederate describe a “happiest” and “saddest” life event.
This finding indicates that leaders are more attuned to followers’ emotions than previously anticipated.

The service industry capitalizes on emotional contagion by training staff members to model positive emotions based on the assumption that positive emotions increase customer satisfaction and continued business.

James Kulik

James Kulik

In fact, customers were more influence by  service quality than employees’ positive emotion in determining customers’ satisfaction, according to Bowling Green State’s Patricia B. Barger and Alicia A. Grandey of Pennsylvania State University.

Positive emotional contagion has been used to advantage in sales, services, and health care settings, and can positively or negatively resonate through work organizations with impact on employee attitude, morale, engagement, and even customer service, safety, and innovation.

-*How do you intentionally model and convey emotions to individuals and group members?
-*What strategies do you use to manage susceptibility to “emotional contagion”?

Follow-share-like http://www.kathrynwelds.com and @kathrynwelds

RELATED POSTS:

 

Twitter @kathrynwelds
BlogKathryn Welds | Curated Research and Commentary
Google+
LinkedIn Open Group Psychology in Human Resources (Organisational Psychology)
Facebook Notes

©Kathryn Welds