The Effect of Weather on Subjective Performance Evaluation
51 Pages Posted: 17 Feb 2021
Date Written: February 5, 2021
We examine how weather influences subjective performance evaluations in the context of a specific bias documented by prior literature: spillover from performance on an objective measure to the subjective evaluation of an unrelated performance dimension. Results of our experiment show that cloudy weather can mitigate spillover effects in subjective evaluations. In our primary sample, the magnitude of the spillover effect on sunny days is virtually identical to that documented by prior work. On cloudy days, however, the magnitude of the spillover effect is only one-third of that on sunny days. We examine and rule out various channels through which weather may affect the spillover effect, concluding that our results are most likely attributable to cloudy weather inducing a more detailed and systematic cognitive processing style. In contrast to conventional wisdom, we find no evidence that sunny weather results in more positive evaluations.
Keywords: Subjectivity, performance evaluations, managerial biases, weather
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