Halo Effect Essay

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One of the problems with graphic rating scales that quickly became apparent after their introduction is the so-called ‘halo effect.’ When examining graphic ratings of performance, Ford (2001) found that there was a tendency for raters to give similar scores to a ratee on all dimensions of performance. Parrill (1999( To rate a worker in this manner would be the equivalent of rating the worker on one single scale, as opposed to many different scales that measure different aspects of work performance. Other researchers also discovered this problem. Parrill (1999) Soon, there was a great deal of literature documenting the problem of halo when using graphic rating scales. More current literature has also documented the issue of halo, citing that it continues to be a pervasive problem with graphic rating scales (Landy and Farr, 2000). For a while, it was thought that halo could be eliminated, or at least attenuated, by training. By warning raters of this pitfall associated with the graphic rating scales, scores would contain fewer halos, and the ratings would be more appropriate. However, research has shown this not to be the case (Ryan, 2008). Some have proposed the alternative of statistical correction to compensate for halo. Halo has traditionally been considered a serious problem for the effectiveness of an appraisal system. Cleveland, Murphy, and Williams, (2009) organizations generally use performance evaluations to make some sort of decision about a worker and his job When evaluating a person, the organization attempts to measure the worker on several different criteria. In this way, the worker, with the help of the organization, is able to be aware of his strengths and can target areas for improvement. Halo eliminates the varian... ... middle of paper ... ... halo were only measures of error was wrong. A more plausible conceptualization was that these “rating errors” actually contained some true- score variance, not just error (Hedge and Kavanagh, 2008). Regardless, the traditional criticism of the graphic rating scale’s susceptibility to these “errors” no longer holds the same concern that it once did. There are other problems associated with graphic rating scales besides the traditional problems of halo and leniency. Graphic rating scales have also been cited of having problems associated with validity, poor inter-rater agreement and personal biases of a rater (Kane and Bernardin, 2002). Though important, these other problems associated with graphic rating scales are not as prevalent in the research literature and have not traditionally been attributed the same level of importance and influence as halo and leniency.
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