The Effect of Implicit Person Theory on Performance Appraisals

Journal of Applied Psychology, Vol. 90, pp. 842-856, 2005

Posted: 27 Jun 2008

See all articles by Peter A. Heslin

Peter A. Heslin

UNSW Sydney

Gary P. Latham

University of Toronto - Rotman School of Management

Don Vandewalle

Southern Methodist University (SMU) - Management and Organizations Department

Date Written: June 24, 2008

Abstract

Four studies examined whether implicit person theory (IPT) regarding the malleability of personal attributes (e.g., personality and ability) affects managers' acknowledgment of change in employee behavior. The extent to which managers held an incremental IPT was positively related to their recognition of both good (Study 1) and poor (Study 2) performance, relative to the employee behavior they initially observed. Incremental theorists' judgments were not anchored by their prior impressions (Study 3). In the 4th study, entity theorists who were randomly assigned to a self-persuasion training condition developed a significantly more incremental IPT. This change in IPT was maintained over a 6-week period and led to greater acknowledgment of an improvement in employee performance than was exhibited by entity theorists in the placebo control group.

Keywords: implicit person theory, anchoring, first impression, performance appraisal, self-persuasion

Suggested Citation

Heslin, Peter A. and Latham, Gary P. and Vandewalle, Don, The Effect of Implicit Person Theory on Performance Appraisals (June 24, 2008). Journal of Applied Psychology, Vol. 90, pp. 842-856, 2005, Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=1150882

Peter A. Heslin (Contact Author)

UNSW Sydney ( email )

UNSW Business School
High St
KENSINGTON, NSW 2052
Australia

Gary P. Latham

University of Toronto - Rotman School of Management ( email )

105 St. George Street
Toronto, Ontario M5S 3E6 M5S1S4
Canada
416-978-4916 (Phone)
416-978-4629 (Fax)

Don Vandewalle

Southern Methodist University (SMU) - Management and Organizations Department ( email )

United States

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