Testing Assumptions: Can Performance Rating Feedback Result in Objective Performance Improvements?


  • Jennifer Gonder, Ph.D. Farmingdale State College
  • William Metlay, Ph.D. Hofstra University
  • Terri Shapiro, Ph.D. Hofstra University




Performance appraisal is intended to be an instrument for performance improvement and the use of ratings is based on the assumption that rating feedback will have an impact on objective performance outcomes. Yet, most studies measure improvement as changes in performance ratings over time and there is limited empirical evidence to support this assumption. The present experiment was designed to address this gap in the literature by directly testing the effect of rating feedback on objective performance. Groups completed two problem solving tasks, receiving rating feedback on several team performance dimensions after the first task. Improvement in ratings and objective performance scores on the second task was measured to evaluate the impact of the feedback. Results replicated past research, demonstrating that rating feedback leads to improvement in subsequent ratings. Further, this experiment provides empirical evidence in support of the assumption that rating feedback can result in objective performance improvement.

Author Biographies

Jennifer Gonder, Ph.D., Farmingdale State College

Dr. Gonder earned her Ph.D. in Applied Organizational Psychology from Hofstra University and is a licensed New York State Psychologist. She is Associate Professor of Psychology and Director of the Applied Psychology Program at Farmingdale State College where she teaches on subjects such as psychological statistics and industrial / organizational psychology. Her research programs focus on consumer psychology, performance appraisal, and pedagogy and her work has led to more than 50 conference presentations and publications. Dr. Gonder is the chairperson of Farmingdale's Institutional Review Board and an outside consultant for a psychological risk management company for which she conducts pre-employment psychological evaluations for public safety positions.

William Metlay, Ph.D., Hofstra University

Dr. William Metlay is Professor Emeritus of Psychology at Hofstra University. He was Director of the Ph.D. Program in Applied Organizational Psychology at Hofstra. Dr. Metlay has been active in applied research and evaluation in the field of industrial / organizational psychology for more than 40 years. His research in the application of psychology to organizational issues is documented in over 100 papers which have been presented at national conferences and published in referred journals. He has conducted research and consulted for public and private organizations in the areas of customer satisfaction, work group productivity, and training effectiveness.


Terri Shapiro, Ph.D., Hofstra University

Dr. Terri Shapiro is Senior Vice Provost for Academic Affairs and an Associate Professor of Industrial/Organizational Psychology at Hofstra University. Her consulting and research activities focus on customer satisfaction, specifically the area of service failure and recovery. Dr. Shapiro has also served as a consultant for a number of public and private organizations, mainly in the design, conduct and management of a variety of organizational survey projects which have focused on the measurement and understanding of customer and employee satisfaction.