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Do You Remember? Rater Memory Systems and Leadership Measurement

Keller Hansbrough, Tiffany; Lord, Robert G.; Schyns, Birgit; Foti, Roseanne J.; Liden, Robert C.; Acton, Bryan

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Tiffany Keller Hansbrough

Birgit Schyns

Roseanne J. Foti

Robert C. Liden

Bryan Acton


Despite widespread concerns about the use of retrospective accounts of leader behavior and response tendencies associated with raters who tend rely on semantic memory, little attention has been devoted to developing methods that move measurement processes beyond those based on semantic memory to those based on episodic memory. The results from a series of six studies demonstrate a) questionnaire items can be classified in terms of their emphasis on episodic or semantic memory and the language used in items is associated with different types of memory processes, b) scales based on episodic memory have a greater association with trust than do scales based on semantic memory, c) the procedure that requires raters to indicate whether their response to each item is based on semantic or episodic memory dramatically reduces the impact of liking on leadership ratings, and d) the memory source intervention that encourages raters to rely on episodic memory reduces false alarms in leadership ratings. Taken together, these results demonstrate that rater memory systems are an important component of the leadership rating process and that consideration of the type of memory elicited during that process can be used to improve leadership measurement.

Journal Article Type Article
Acceptance Date Jul 21, 2020
Online Publication Date Aug 13, 2020
Publication Date 2021-04
Deposit Date Jul 22, 2020
Publicly Available Date Feb 13, 2022
Journal Leadership Quarterly
Print ISSN 1048-9843
Publisher Elsevier
Peer Reviewed Peer Reviewed
Volume 32
Issue 2
Article Number 101455
Public URL


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