A ratings pattern heuristic in judgments of expertise: when being right Looks wrong

Gerri Spassova, Mauricio Palmeira, Eduardo B. Andrade

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleResearchpeer-review

3 Citations (Scopus)


We propose a “ratings pattern heuristic” in judgments of expertise—that is, people's tendency to undervalue critics who assign the same rating to multiple options, overlooking diagnostic information which would clearly justify the uniform ratings. The heuristic is driven by a strong association between discrimination and expertise and a focus on summary ratings. People “punish” uniform (vs. varied) raters even when (a) uniform ratings are acknowledgedly more likely (studies 1a and 1b), (b) the uniform rater's past performance is superior (studies 2 and 3), and (c) the uniform rater also reports varied sub-ratings (study 4a), unless participants are prompted to assess the sub-ratings prior to choosing a critic (studies 4b and 5). Study 6 reveals that critics are less aware than judges of the impact of the pattern of their ratings on others’ perceptions.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)26-47
Number of pages22
JournalOrganizational Behavior and Human Decision Processes
Publication statusPublished - 1 Jul 2018


  • Expertise judgments
  • Rating variance
  • Ratings pattern
  • Uniformity

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