This study investigated the predictability of rater leniency from scores on an instrument designed to measure rater discomfort with performance appraisal situations. The 20-item Performance Appraisal Discomfort Scale (PADS) was administered twice to a sample of 178 undergraduate business students who rated performance of group members on three group projects under conditions designed to emulate features of actual appraisal situations. Results supported the notion that rater leniency is stable and predictable from PADS scores. Also, principal-component extracted and varimax rotated factors of the PADS were interpreted as corresponding to four distinct situational demands placed on raters in the course of performance appraisal. The results of this limited demonstration of the validity of PADS suggest that future application of the PADS or some like instrument may be useful for enhancing the validity of appraisal ratings and feedback utility.
Available at: http://works.bepress.com/randi-sims/42/