De-stereotyping Public Performance Evaluation

Yixin Liu

Abstract

Experimental evidence suggests that citizens’ judgments of service quality often rely on prior beliefs about providers’ characteristics, such as sectoral or racial stereotypes. Such a biased judgment process prevents the public from understanding performance information accurately and choosing high-quality service providers. To address this, we studied the relation between performance information and the evaluation mode and propose that presenting information jointly (joint evaluation) rather than separately (separate evaluation) may help people avoid stereotyping and consider actual performance. We compared people’s perceived performance and preferences through the separate and joint evaluation modes (SE and JE) in three online experiments (N > 3, 000), and obtained similar results in these studies: Subjects used sectoral or racial stereotypes to evaluate school performance in the SE condition, but the stereotyping decreased in the JE condition. Our findings provide an effective tool to de-stereotype performance evaluations, which also has implications for other public management research areas in reducing stereotyping behaviors.

Publication
Revise & Resubmit: International Public Management Journal
Yixin Liu
Yixin Liu
PhD Candidate