Influences on the Marking of Examinations

Bermeitinger, Christina; Unger, Benjamin
February 2014
Psychology (2152-7180);Feb2014, Vol. 5 Issue 2, p91
Academic Journal
In the present work, we examined a phenomenon highly relevant in the educational field for assessing or judging performance, that is, the question how the second examiner's marking is influenced by the evaluation of the first examiner. This phenomenon is known as anchoring in cognitive psychology. In general, in anchoring effects numeric information (i.e., the anchor) pulls estimations or judgments towards the anchor. One domain which is highly important in real life has been investigated only occasionally, that is, the marking of examinations. In three experiments, participants were asked to evaluate a written assignment. The mark (either good or bad) of a ficticious first examiner was used as the anchor. We found clear anchoring effects that were unaffected by feedback in a preceding task (positive, neutral, negative) or the expert status of the presumed first examiner. We discussed the problems related to this effect.


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