The Effect of Weather on Subjective Performance Evaluation

51 Pages Posted: 17 Feb 2021

See all articles by Carolyn Deller

Carolyn Deller

University of Pennsylvania - The Wharton School

Jeremy Michels

University of Pennsylvania - Accounting Department

Date Written: February 5, 2021

Abstract

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

Suggested Citation

Deller, Carolyn and Michels, Jeremy, The Effect of Weather on Subjective Performance Evaluation (February 5, 2021). Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=3780405 or http://dx.doi.org/10.2139/ssrn.3780405

Carolyn Deller (Contact Author)

University of Pennsylvania - The Wharton School ( email )

1311 Steinberg Hall - Dietrich Hall
3620 Locust Walk
Philadelphia, PA 19104-6365
United States

Jeremy Michels

University of Pennsylvania - Accounting Department ( email )

3641 Locust Walk
Philadelphia, PA 19104-6365
United States

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