Grading Degrades Performance LO17476

Eric Bohlman (
Thu, 19 Mar 1998 21:19:58 -0800 (PST)

Replying to LO17465 --

On Wed, 18 Mar 1998, Nancy Polend wrote:
> What is most interesting to me is that I continue(d) to strive for the
> "good grades" and the "outstanding" performance appraisals, even though I
> know/feel that they are arbitrary, clueless statements of how another, who
> I may not even respect, thinks I am performing. I often wonder why I do
> this...obviously being achievement oriented has something to do with it,
> but you'd think I'd give that up knowing how useless
> grading/rating/performance appraisals are.

In _The New Economics_, Deming quoted a couple of his students who had
participated in the Red Bead experiment. They reported that they felt a
strong need to do well in their results even though they knew, rationally,
that the results they got were purely random and entirely beyond their


Eric Bohlman <>

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