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graphic rating scale method of performance evaluation

Robert L. Cardy


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A graphic rating scale, defined as any rating scale consisting of points on a continuum, is a generic label given to a broad category of rating formats ( Cascio, 1991 ). Raters are presented with a description of a dimension on which the ratees are to be evaluated, and a continuum with anchor points that demarcate levels of effectiveness along that continuum. The rater is asked to judge the level of effectiveness for each ratee, using that rating continuum. The number of points on the rating scale can vary from three upward. Research has indicated that five to nine scale points result in the highest quality of ratings ( Finn, 1972 ). Graphic rating scales are probably the most common rating format. One reason for this popularity is that the graphic rating scale category can be adapted to a wide variety of specific formats. Other reasons for their popularity include: (1) they are fairly easy to construct; (2) they have a fairly high level of user acceptability; and (3) they have face validity ( Cardy and Dobbins, 1994 ). Graphic rating scales can be differentiated based on the type and amount of information presented in the anchors. The most common format uses ambiguous adjectives (e.g., “marginal,” “average,” or “outstanding”) as anchors. A more sophisticated format would use specific behavioral descriptions for each anchor point. Where research is used to help to define the ... log in or subscribe to read full text

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