Degree Type


Date of Award


Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy



First Advisor

Richard P. Manatt


The primary purposes of this study were to determine the effects of surgency bias, if any, during the process of performance evaluation and to determine any association of surgency bias with gender, training, and experience. Surgency bias is defined as a distortion, predilection, or influence in perception or rating due to physical attractiveness and charisma of the ratee;The study involved 121 subjects who were attending professional growth teacher performance evaluation workshops in San Antonio, Texas, and Salina, Kansas;Data were collected from subjects after they had observed one of two simulated preobservation conference videotapes. In one of the videotaped preobservation conferences, an actress portrayed a surgent (one who is physically attractive, exhibits attractive gestures and who has charisma) teacher. In the other videotape, the actress portrayed a nonsurgent (one who is less physically attractive and is less charismatic) teacher;Subjects were asked to predict teacher effectiveness immediately following videotape viewing, and, after examining a script tape of a ninth grade physical science lesson, were asked to rate the teacher's performance on ten independent teaching behaviors, give an overall rating, and select a Professional Improvement Commitment (PIC) from a menu of five choices;T-tests were used to determine the significance of any differences in average responses by subjects assigned to the surgent teacher performance evaluation group and the nonsurgent teacher performance evaluation group for their predictions of effectiveness, ratings on ten independent teaching behaviors, overall performance ratings, and PIC selection. A correlation test was used to test the relationships between teacher performance evaluation training and experience with overall ratings of teacher performance by members of the surgent and nonsurgent groups;Upon test analysis the following conclusions were drawn: Surgency bias significantly influenced evaluators' perceptions of the teacher's effectiveness, ratings of the teacher's overall performance, and ratings on four of ten independent teaching behaviors.



Digital Repository @ Iowa State University,

Copyright Owner

Robert L. Newsum



Proquest ID


File Format


File Size

115 pages