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cognitive process models of performance appraisal

Jack Feldman


Cognitive models of performance appraisal assume that human judgment is necessary to the appraisal process; that job performance cannot be completely specified in terms of observable behaviors or countable products ( see criterion problem ). Judgment is necessary to assess the degree to which people's activities have contributed to organizational/professional goals (see Feldman, 1986, 1994 ). Performance appraisal judgments result from any of several alternative cognitive processes, carried out under particular circumstances by people of particular abilities, dispositions, and motives. Appraisal models must explain how judgments may be accurate, as well as how specific kinds of inaccuracy, invalidity, and unreliability occur, using the same set of process assumptions ( Feldman, 1981, 1994 ). The problem is like that of developing a conceptual model of an automobile: one must simultaneously consider all of the systems and functions as related to its intended purpose and real‐world constraints. Models of subcomponents (e.g., engines, suspensions) are necessary but insufficient. Existing appraisal models approach this ideal to varying degrees. Performance appraisal models are based on theories of six cognitive processes. These processes and their contribution to appraisal judgments must be understood in order to appreciate the unique contributions of each to an overall model. ... log in or subscribe to read full text

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