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Psychology of Evaluation (Summer 2011 Professional Development Workshops Series of Claremont Graduate University)

United States
22nd August, 2011
Event City: 
Claremont Graduate University, Ron W. Burkle Family Building, 1021 N. Dartmouth Ave, Claremont, CA 91711.

Facilitators:  Michael Scriven and Stewart I. Donaldson

Some evaluation ‘models’ already embody (claimed or real) psychological insights—empowerment and appreciative inquiry come to mind—but others might benefit from incorporating them. Here we will lay out some of the psychological dimensions of evaluation and encourage a discussion of their application to evaluation practice. We begin with the psychology of the evaluee (i.e., the person whose work or performance is being evaluated), especially dealing with the varieties of resistance to evaluation, and with transference, and some suggestions about ways to identify them and deal with them—or benefit from them legitimately. Then we turn to the psychology of the evaluator, and the phenomena of: (i) bias -personal, cultural, methodological, etc.; (ii) the interpersonal and intrapersonal variations in distance/empathy/sympathy/hostility/advocacy; (iii) power abuse, co-option, competitiveness, victimization and exploitation; and (iv) the role repertoire needs—reporter, investigator, teacher, learner, competitor, judge, value/legal analyst, advocate, enforcer, consultant, project manager, colleague, mediator, therapist, author, graphic artist, whistleblower, etc. (the  indicates roles that seem to have been previously underemphasised). Third, we consider the psychology of the ‘evaluation commissioner’ a.k.a. client, who is often also the evaluee or organizationally connected to the evaluee, so most of the psychological phenomena of interest overlap with the preceding lists if we add manager, politician, attorney, and auditor. We will also add the possibility of the little-used ‘third party’—an extra primary role on our account—the evaluation adviser/consultant/critical friend (not in Fetterman’s sense) who does not report to the funder/client and hence may be able to resolve some of the role conflicts that arise for the others. In each case, some effort will be made to identify the good and bad effects of the psychological phenomena (i.e., evaluate them), and direct ways to safeguard the evaluation against the bad effects

Organization Responsible for the Event:    Claremont Graduate University, California, USA

Workshop/Event Fee:

Professional:     $75
Students:          $50

For more information:

Cross cutting Issue:     Psychological insights about all those who are involved