Choosing and Using Information in Evaluation Decisions

  • Date: May 29, 2024
  • Time: 04:00 PM (Local Time Germany)
  • Speaker: Katie Coffman (Harvard Business School)
  • Location: MPI
  • Room: Ground Floor

We use a controlled experiment to study how information acquisition impacts candidate
evaluations. We provide evaluators with group-level information on performance and the
opportunity to acquire additional, individual-level performance information before making a
final evaluation. We find that, on average, evaluators under-acquire individual-level information,
leading to more stereotypical evaluations of candidates. Consistent with stereotyping, we
find that (irrelevant) group-level comparisons have a significant impact on how candidates are
evaluated; group-level comparisons bias initial assessments, responses to information, and final
evaluations. This leads to under-recognition of talented candidates from comparatively weaker
groups and over-selection of untalented candidates from comparatively stronger groups.

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