THE INFLUENCE OF RELATIONAL DEMOGRAPHY ON PANEL INTERVIEW RATINGS: A FIELD EXPERIMENT
The influence of relational demography (assessor race, candidate race, and the racial composition of rating panels) was examined in a structured interview setting. Twenty assessors (10 White and 10 Black) comprising five, 4-person panels of all possible racial compositions, evaluated videotaped responses of police officers participating in a promotion process. Each panel rated the same 73 (36 White and 37 Black) candidates' responses to a complex, structured interview question. An examination of mean overall ratings revealed a same race bias and a significant difference between panels based upon the relational demography of the interview panel; nevertheless, the size of these effects was small. Net reconciliation (i.e., between initial and final scores) differed significantly between minority and majority panel conditions for only Black assessors and, again, the effects here were very small. The practical implications of these findings are discussed.
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