Date of Award


Degree Name

Master of Arts



First Advisor

Dr. Barbara Fulton

Second Advisor

Dr. R. W. Malott

Third Advisor

Dr. David Lyon

Access Setting

Masters Thesis-Open Access


Performance appraisals are increasing in numbers, but their effectiveness has little empirical validation. A major objective of the present study was to examine the effects of performance appraisals on the actual performance of supervisees. In addition, it assessed the effect of qualitative, rather than quantitative statements by supervisors. Five staff members participated in this study while working as teaching assistants. Ten dependent variables were observed and recorded per individual, after which the experimenter reviewed the baseline data and targeted six dependent variables for change, based on their low frequencies. The independent variable consisted of a performance appraisal which was a personal interview between the supervisor/ experimenter and a supervisee in which the supervisor rated the supervisee on the targeted behaviors. The results indicated an increase in the proportion of tasks completed from 56% in baseline to 91% in intervention. The improvements maintained for three to four weeks, after which performance quickly declined to approximately the same level as in baseline.