From May 11th to May 15th, 2011, Dr. Zhe Chen from Department of Psychology at the University of Canterbury in NewZealand visited the Institute of Psychology, after the invitation of Professor Xingshan, Li. Dr. Chen delivered a lecture in the Institute of Psychology on May 12th, which attracted faculty and students from different groups.
The title of Dr. Chen's lecture was "Lie Hard: Self-Assessments Produce Anchoring Effects in Promotion Decisions". Anchoring effects refer to the phenomenon that information that is known to be unreliable or unrelated to a target variable still affect assessments of the target variable. In the studies, self-assessments of applications and specific criterion could be considered as these unreliable variables or the anchor. At the beginning of this lecture, Dr. Chen proposed the problems of self-assessments in performance appraisal. Then she and her collaborator investigated the possibility that including self-assessments or promotion criteria in applications for a promotion might produce an anchoring effect by a series of experiments. In sum, the self-assessments produced a robust anchoring effect for both good and bad applications, when the applications were judged by novices and experts, regardless of whether the applicant was likely to receive feedback, and independently of the rater’s views of what constituted good performance. Finally, these results suggest that promotion processes are likely to be biased by using self-assessments or specific criterion. On the other hands, the studies also claim that modesty is unlikely to serve those who seek promotion. At the end of this lecture, Dr. Chen had a cordial talk and further discussion with several faculty and students.
Besides social cognition, Dr. Chen research focuses on the role of visual attention in object perception, the relationship between perception and awareness, perceptual organization and working memory, etc. Her research also involves understanding the mechanisms of response inhibition, the suppression of task irrelevant information, and so on. After the lecture, several faculty and Dr. Chen explored future collaboration possibility on research about attention or decision making issues.