Journal of Labor Research

, Volume 28, Issue 2, pp 397–412 | Cite as

Interpersonal Affect: Does It Really Bias Performance Appraisals?

  • Arup Varma
  • Shaun Pichler


Interpersonal affect, a like-dislike relationship between a supervisor and his/her subordinate, has traditionally been conceptualized as a source of bias in performance appraisals. However, some researchers have argued that affect may not be a bias, especially where it develops as a result of past performance. In this field study, using data from 190 supervisors, we further delineate the relationship between affect and performance ratings. Both affect and performance level were found to have significant effects on performance ratings. Results also indicated that raters are able to separate their liking for a subordinate from actual performance when assigning performance ratings, suggesting that affect may not operate as a bias in the appraisal process.


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Copyright information

© Transaction Publishers 2007

Authors and Affiliations

  • Arup Varma
    • 1
  • Shaun Pichler
    • 2
  1. 1.Loyola University ChicagoChicagoUSA
  2. 2.Michigan State UniversityEast LansingUSA

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