Evidence indicates that interviewers make perceptual judgments that are often inaccurate and they rarely agree while perceiving the candidates. Different interviewers see different things in the same candidate and, thus, reach different conclusions about the applicant. Furthermore, interviewers generally draw early impressions and most interviewers rarely change their decisions after the first four or five minutes of the interview. Therefore, judgments of the same candidate can vary widely in an interview situation..
It is seen that individuals seek to validate their perceptions of reality, even when those perceptions are not appropriate. Self-fulfilling prophecy is a very good example of this. It is the tendency for someone's expectations about another to cause that person to behave in a manner consistent with those expectations (Wilkins, 1976). Self fulfilling prophecy can be of two types:
Ø Pygmalion Effect: A positive instance of the self-fulfilling prophecy, in which people holding high expectations of another tend to improve that individual's performance.
Ø Golem Effect: A negative instance of the self-fulfilling prophecy, in which people holding low expectations of another tend to lower that individual's performance.
A study was conducted on 105 soldiers in the Israeli Defense Forces who were taking a fifteen-week combat command course. Soldiers were randomly divided and identified as having high potential, normal potential, and potential not known. Instructors were seemed to get better results from the high potential group because they expected it, confirming the effect of a self-fulfilling prophecy.
An employee's performance appraisal is very much dependent on the perceptual process. Although the appraisal can be objective, many jobs are evaluated in subjective terms. Subjective measures are, by definition, judgmental. To the degree that managers use subjective measures in appraising employees, what the evaluator perceives to be good or bad employee characteristics or behaviors will significantly influence the outcome of the appraisal.
An individual's future in an organization is usually not dependent on performance alone. An assessment of an individual's effort is a subjective judgment susceptible to perceptual distortions and bias.