Skip to main content Accessibility help
Hostname: page-component-59b7f5684b-fmrbl Total loading time: 1.45 Render date: 2022-10-03T02:00:39.588Z Has data issue: true Feature Flags: { "shouldUseShareProductTool": true, "shouldUseHypothesis": true, "isUnsiloEnabled": true, "useRatesEcommerce": false, "displayNetworkTab": true, "displayNetworkMapGraph": false, "useSa": true } hasContentIssue true

Behavioral Public Performance

How People Make Sense of Government Metrics

Published online by Cambridge University Press:  27 May 2020

Oliver James
University of Exeter
Asmus Leth Olsen
University of Copenhagen
Donald P. Moynihan
Georgetown University, Washington DC
Gregg G. Van Ryzin
Rutgers University, New Jersey


A revolution in the measurement and reporting of government performance through the use of published metrics, rankings and reports has swept the globe at all levels of government. Performance metrics now inform important decisions by politicians, public managers and citizens. However, this performance movement has neglected a second revolution in behavioral science that has revealed cognitive limitations and biases in people's identification, perception, understanding and use of information. This Element introduces a new approach - behavioral public performance - that connects these two revolutions. Drawing especially on evidence from experiments, this approach examines the influence of characteristics of numbers, subtle framing of information, choice of benchmarks or comparisons, human motivation and information sources. These factors combine with the characteristics of information users and the political context to shape perceptions, judgment and decisions. Behavioral public performance suggests lessons to improve design and use of performance metrics in public management and democratic accountability.
Get access
Online ISBN: 9781108761338
Publisher: Cambridge University Press
Print publication: 25 June 2020

Access options

Get access to the full version of this content by using one of the access options below. (Log in options will check for institutional or personal access. Content may require purchase if you do not have access.)


Aarøe, L. (2011). Investigating frame strength: The case of episodic and thematic frames. Political Communication, 28(2), 207226.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
Allcott, H., and Gentzkow, M. (2017). Social media and fake news in the 2016 election. Journal of Economic Perspectives, 31(2), 211236.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
Allport, G. (1954). The Nature of Prejudice. New York: Doubleday Anchor Books.Google Scholar
Ammons, D. N., and Roenigk, D. J.. (2015). Benchmarking and interorganizational learning in local government. Journal of Public Administration Research and Theory, 25(1), 309335.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
Andersen, S. C., and Hjortskov, M. (2015). Cognitive biases in performance evaluations. Journal of Public Administration Research and Theory, 26(4), 647662.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
Andersen, S. C., Holm, J, and Jakobsen, M. L.. (2018). Informing a blame game? How political accountability Impacts the Processing of Performance Feedback. Unpublished paper.Google Scholar
Andersen, S. C., and Moynihan, D. P.. (2016). Bureaucratic investments in expertise: Evidence from a randomized controlled field trial. The Journal of Politics, 78(4), 10321044.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
Andersen, S. C., and Moynihan, D. P.. (2018). How do socially distinctive newcomers fare? Evidence from a field experiment. Public Administration Review, 78(6), 874882.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
Baekgaard, M., Christensen, J, Dahlmann, C, Mathiasen, A, and Petersen, N. (2019). The role of evidence in politics: Motivated reasoning and persuasion among politicians. British Journal of Political Science, 49(3), 11171140.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
Baekgaard, M., and Serritzlew, S. (2016). Interpreting performance information: Motivated reasoning or unbiased comprehension. Public Administration Review, 76(1), 7382.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
Banuri, S., Dercon, S, and Gauri, V. (2017). Biased Policy Professionals, Policy Research Working Paper No. 8113. Washington DC: The World Bank.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
Bar-Hillel, M. (1980). The base-rate fallacy in probability judgments. Acta Psychologica, 44(3), 211233.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
Barrett, L. F. (2017). How Emotions are Made: The Secret Life of the Brain. Boston: Houghton Mifflin Harcourt.Google Scholar
Barrows, S., Henderson, M, Peterson, P. E., and West, M. R.. (2016). Relative performance information and perceptions of public service quality: Evidence from American school districts. Journal of Public Administration Research and Theory, 26(3), 571583.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
Barthel, M., and Mitchell, A. (2017). Americans’ attitudes about the news media deeply divided along partisan lines. Pew Research Center, 10, p.49.Google Scholar
Baybeck, B., and McClurg, S. D. (2005). What do they know and how do they know it? An examination of citizen awareness of context. American Politics Research, 33(4), 492520.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
Belardinelli, P., Bellé, N, Sicilia, M, and Steccolini, I. (2018). Framing effects under different uses of performance information: An experimental study on public managers. Public Administration Review, 78(6), 841851.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
Bellé, N., Cantarelli, P, and Belardinelli, P. (2017). Cognitive biases in performance appraisal: Experimental evidence on anchoring and halo effects with public sector managers and employees. Review of Public Personnel Administration, 37(3), 275294.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
Bellé, N., Cantarelli, P, and Belardinelli, P. (2018). Prospect theory goes public: Experimental evidence on cognitive biases in public policy and management decisions. Public Administration Review, 78(6), 828840.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
Bizer, G. Y., and Schindler, R. M.. (2005). Direct evidence of ending-digit drop-off in price information processing. Psychology & Marketing, 22(10), 771783.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
Blatz, C. W., and Mercier, B. (2017). False polarization and false moderation: Political opponents overestimate the extremity of each other’s ideologies but underestimate each other’s certainty. Social Psychological and Personality Science, 9(5), 521529.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
Bouwman, R., Van Thiel, S, van Deemen, A, and Rouwette, E. (2018). Accountability and coalitions: Evidence from a negotiation experiment. Public Administration Review, 78(1), 3747.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
Boyne, G. A., James, O, John, P, and Petrovsky, N. (2009). Democracy and government performance: Holding incumbents accountable in English local governments. The Journal of Politics, 71(4), 12731284.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
Boyne, G. A., James, O, John, P, and Petrovsky, N. (2010). Does public service performance affect top management turnover? Journal of Public Administration Research and Theory, 20(suppl. 2), i261i279.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
Brickman, P., and Campbell, D. T.. (1971). Hedonic relativism and planning the good society. In Apley, M. H., Adaptation-Level Theory: A Symposium. Michigan: Academic Press, pp. 287305.Google Scholar
Brunell, T. L, and Glazer, A. (2001). Rational response to irrational attitudes: The level of the gasoline tax in the United States. Journal of Policy Analysis and Management, 20(4), 761764.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
Bullock, J. G., Gerber, A. S., Hill, S. J., and Huber, G. A.. (2015). Partisan bias in factual beliefs about politics. Quarterly Journal of Political Science, 10(4), 519578.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
Campbell, D. T. (1979). Assessing the impact of planned social change. Evaluation and Program Planning, 2(1), 6790.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
Cantarelli, P., Belle, N, and Belardinelli, P. (2018). Behavioral public HR: Experimental evidence on cognitive biases and debiasing interventions. Review of Public Personnel Administration.Google Scholar
Charbonneau, E & Bellavance, F.. (2012). Blame Avoidance in Public Reporting, Public Performance & Management Review, 35(3), 399421CrossRefGoogle Scholar
Charbonneau, É., and Van Ryzin, G. G.. (2015). Benchmarks and citizen judgments of local government performance: Findings from a survey experiment. Public Management Review, 17(2), 288304.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
Christensen, J. (2018). Biased, not blind: An experimental test of self‐serving biases in service users’ evaluations of performance information. Public Administration, 96(3), 468480.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
Christensen, J., Dahlmann, C. M., Mathiasen, A. H., Moynihan, D. P., and Petersen, N. B. G.. (2018). How do elected officials evaluate performance? Goal preferences, governance preferences, and the process of goal reprioritization. Journal of Public Administration Research and Theory, 28(2), 197211.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
Christensen, J., and James, O. (2018). Public Reporting of Multidimensional Performance: Order Effects on Citizens’ Perceptions and Judgment. Paper presented to European Consortium for Political Research Conference, University of Hamburg.Google Scholar
Cohen, G. L. (2003). Party over policy: The dominating impact of group influence on political beliefs. Journal of Personality and Social Psychology, 85(5), 808822.CrossRefGoogle ScholarPubMed
Craig, S. G., Imberman, S. and Perdue, A.. (2015). Do administrators respond to their accountability ratings? The response of school budgets to accountability grades. Economics of Education Review, 49(C), 5568.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
Cucciniello, M., Porumbescu, G. A., and Grimmelikhuijsen, S. (2017). 25 years of transparency research: Evidence and future directions. Public Administration Review, 77(1), 3244.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
Cyert, R. M., and March, J. G.. (1963). A Behavioral Theory of the Firm. Englewood Cliffs, NJ: Prentice-Hall.Google Scholar
Dalton, R. J. (2004). Democratic Challenges, Democratic Choices: The Erosion of Political Support in Advanced Industrial Democracies. Oxford: Oxford University Press.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
Daschmann, G. (2000). Vox pop & polls: The impact of poll results and voter statements in the media on the perception of a climate of opinion. International Journal of Public Opinion Research, 12(2),160181.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
Dao, James and Lehren, A. W.. (2010). Grim Milestone: 1,000 Americans Dead. New York Times. May 19, A11.Google Scholar
Deci, E. L., Olafsen, A. H., and Ryan, R. M.. (2017). Self-determination theory in work organizations: The state of a science. Annual Review of Organizational Psychology and Organizational Behavior, 4, 1943.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
Dehaene, S. (2011). The Number Sense: How the Mind Creates Mathematics. New York: Oxford University Press USA.Google Scholar
Dehaene, S., and Mehler, J. (1992). Cross-linguistic regularities in the frequency of number words. Cognition, 43(1), 129.CrossRefGoogle ScholarPubMed
Delli Carpini, M. X., and Keeter, S. (1996). What Americans Know about Politics and Why It Matters. New Haven, CT: Yale University Press.Google Scholar
Demaj, L. (2017). What can performance information do to legislators? A budget‐decision experiment with legislators. Public Administration Review, 77(3), 366379.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
Dorogovtsev, S. N., Mendes, J. F. F., and Oliveira, J. G.. (2006). Frequency of occurrence of numbers in the World Wide Web. Physica A: Statistical Mechanics and Its Applications, 360(2), 548556.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
Druckman, J. N. (2001). The implications of framing effects for citizen competence. Political Behavior, 23(3), 225256.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
Druckman, J. N. (2011). What’s it all about?: Framing in political science. In Keren, G, Perspectives on Framing. New York: Taylor and Francis, pp. 297302.Google Scholar
Druckman, J. N., Peterson, E, and Slothuus, R. (2013). How elite partisan polarization affects public opinion formation. American Political Science Review, 107(1), 5779.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
Duflo, E. (2017). The economist as plumber. American Economic Review, 107(5), 126.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
Dunning, D. (1999). A newer look: Motivated social cognition and the schematic representation of social concepts. Psychological Inquiry, 10(1), 111.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
European Union. (2018). Standard Eurobarometer Spring 2018: Public opinion in the European Union, p. 12.Google Scholar
Epp, C. R., Maynard-Moody, S, and Haider-Markel, D. P.. (2014). Pulled Over: How Police Stops Define Race and Citizenship. Chicago: University of Chicago Press.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
Festinger, L. (1954). A theory of social comparison processes. Human Relations, 7(2), 117140.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
Freeman, R. A. (1954). How can voters understand? National Civic Review, 43(3), 123129.Google Scholar
Fuenzalida, J., Van Ryzin, G. G., and Olsen, A. L. (forthcoming). Are managers susceptible to framing effects? An experimental study of professional judgment of performance metrics. International Public Management Journal.Google Scholar
Gailmard, S., and Patty, J. W.. (2012). Learning While Governing: Expertise and Accountability in the Executive Branch. Chicago: University of Chicago Press.Google Scholar
George, B., Desmidt, S, Nielsen, P. A., and Baekgaard, M. (2017). Rational planning and politicians’ preferences for spending and reform: Replication and extension of a survey experiment. Public Management Review, 19(9), 12511271.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
Gerrish, E. (2016). The Impact of Performance Management on Performance in Public Organizations: A Meta-Analysis. Public Administration Review, 76(1), 4866.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
Gigerenzer, G. (2007). Gut Feelings: The Intelligence of the Unconscious. New York: Viking.Google Scholar
Gigerenzer, G., Todd, P. M., and ABC Research Group 2000. (2001). Simple Heuristics That Make Us Smart. Oxford: Oxford University Press.Google Scholar
Gigone, D., and Hastie, R. (1993). The common knowledge effect: Information sharing and group judgment. Journal of Personality and Social Psychology, 6(5), 959974.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
Goodsell, C. T. (1994). The Case for Bureaucracy: a Public Administration Polemic. Chatham: Chatham House Publishers Inc.Google Scholar
Greenwald, A. G., and Banaji, M. R.. (1995). Implicit social cognition: Attitudes, self-esteem, and stereotypes. Psychological review, 102(1), 4.CrossRefGoogle ScholarPubMed
Greve, H. R. (1998). Performance, aspirations, and risky organizational change. Administrative Science Quarterly, 43(1), 5886.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
Grimmelikhuijsen, S., Jilke, S, Olsen, A. L., and Tummers, L. (2017). Behavioral public administration: Combining insights from public administration and psychology. Public Administration Review, 77(1), 4556.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
Grimmelikhuijsen, S., and Porumbescu, G. A.. (2017). Reconsidering the expectancy disconfirmation model: Three experimental replications. Public Management Review, 19(9), 12721292.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
Gross, K. (2008). Framing persuasive appeals: Episodic and thematic framing, emotional response, and policy opinion. Political Psychology, 29(2), 169192.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
Grosso, A. L., and Van Ryzin, G. G.. (2011). How citizens view government performance reporting: Results of a national survey. Public Performance & Management Review, 35(2), 235250.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
Guess, A. and Coppock, A. (forthcoming). Does Counter-Attitudinal Information Cause Backlash? Results from Three Large Survey Experiments. British Journal of Political Science, 1–19.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
Hansen, J. A., and Nielsen, P. A.. (2018). How Does Performance Information Influence Management Decision Making? Experimental Evidence on Problem Identification, Innovative Search, and Change. Paper to be presented at the Annual EGPA Conference, Lausanne, Switzerland, Sept. 5–7.Google Scholar
Hansen, K. M., Olsen, A. L., and Bech, M. (2015). Cross-national yardstick comparisons: A choice experiment on a forgotten voter heuristic. Political Behavior, 37(4), 767789.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
Harris, L. (1991). Stock price clustering and discreteness. The Review of Financial Studies, 4(3), 389415.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
Hatry, H. P. (2006). Performance measurement: Getting results. The Urban Insitute.Google Scholar
Hatry, H.P. (1999). Performance Measurement: Getting Results.Washington, DC: Urban Institute Press.Google Scholar
Head, B. W. (2008). Wicked problems in public policy. Public policy, 3(2), 101.Google Scholar
Heath, C. (1999). Goals as reference points. Cognitive Psychology, 38(1), 79109.CrossRefGoogle ScholarPubMed
Herbst, S. (1993). Numbered Voices: How Opinion Polling Has Shaped American Politics. Chicago: University of Chicago Press.Google Scholar
Herr, P. M., Kardes, F. R., and Kim, J. (1991). Effects of word-of-mouth and product-attribute information on persuasion: An accessibility-diagnosticity perspective. Journal of Consumer Research, 17(4), 454462.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
Hetherington, M. J. (2005). Why Trust Matters: Declining Political Trust and the Demise of American Liberalism. Princeton, NJ: Princeton University Press.Google Scholar
Hinrichs, J. V., Berie, J. L., and Mosell, M. K.. (1982). Place information in multidigit number comparison. Memory & Cognition, 10(5), 487495.CrossRefGoogle ScholarPubMed
Holbein, J. (2016) Left Behind? Citizen Responsiveness to Government Performance Information, 110 (2), 353–368.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
Holm, J. (2017). Double standards: How historical and political aspiration level guide managerial performance information use. Public Administration, 95(4), 10261040.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
Holm, J. (2018). Successful problem solvers? Managerial performance information use to improve low organizational performance. Journal of Public Administration Research and Theory, 28(3), 303320.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
Hood, C. (2006). Gaming in targetworld: The targets approach to managing British public services. Public Administration Review, 66(4), 515521.Google Scholar
Hood, C. (2010). The Blame Game: Spin, Bureaucracy, and Self-Preservation in Government. Princeton, NJ: Princeton University Press.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
Hood, C., James, O., Scott, C., Jones, G. W., and Travers, T. (1999). Regulation Inside Government: Waste Watchers, Quality Police, and Sleaze-Busters. Oxford: Oxford University Press.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
Hong, S. (2019). A behavioral model of public organizations: Performance feedback and negativity bias. Journal of Public Administration Research and Theory, 29(1), 117.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
Hovland, C. I., Janis, I. L., and Kelley, H. H.. (1953). Communication and Persuasion: Psychological Studies of Opinion Change. Westport, CT: Greenwood Press.Google Scholar
Hvidman, U. (2019). Citizens’ Evaluations of the Public Sector: Evidence From Two Large-Scale Experiments. Journal of Public Administration Research and Theory, 29(2), 255267.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
Hvidman, U., and Andersen, S. C.. (2016). Perceptions of public and private performance: Evidence from a survey experiment. Public Administration Review, 76(1), 111120.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
Jackson, P. M. (2011). Governance by numbers: What have we learned over the past 30 years? Public Money & Management, 31(1), 1326.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
Jakobsen, M., James, O., Moynihan, D., & Nabatchi, T. (2019). JPART virtual issue on citizen-state interactions in public administration research Journal of Public Administration Research and Theory. Pages e8–e15, Scholar
Jakobsen, M. L. F. and , P. B.. (2016) Rules and the Doctrine of Performance Management. Public Administration Review, 76(2), 302312.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
James, O. (2004). The UK core executive’s use of public service agreements as a tool of governance. Public administration, 82(2), 397419.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
James, O. (2007). Evaluating the expectations disconfirmation and expectations anchoring approaches to citizen satisfaction with local public services. Journal of Public Administration Research and Theory, 19(1), 107123.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
James, O. (2011a). Performance measures and democracy: Information effects on citizens in field and laboratory experiments. Journal of Public Administration Research and Theory, 21(3), 399418.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
James, O. (2011b). Managing citizens’ expectations of public service performance: Evidence from observation and experimentation in local government. Public Administration, 89(4), 14191435.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
James, O., Jilke, S, Petersen, C, and Van de Walle, S. (2016). Citizens’ blame of politicians for public service failure: Experimental evidence about blame reduction through delegation and contracting. Public Administration Review, 76(1), 8393.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
James, O., Jilke, S, and Van Ryzin, G. G., eds. (2017) Experiments in Public Management Research: Challenges and Contributions. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
James, O., and Moseley, A. (2014). Does performance information about public services affect citizens’ perceptions, satisfaction, and voice behaviour? Field experiments with absolute and relative performance information. Public Administration, 92(2), 493511.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
James, O., and Petersen, C. (2018). International rankings of government performance and source credibility for citizens: Experiments about e-government rankings in the UK and the Netherlands. Public Management Review, 20(4), 469484.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
James, O., and Van Ryzin, G. G.. (2017a). Incredibly good performance: An experimental study of source and level effects on the credibility of government. American Review of Public Administration, 47(1), 2335.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
James, O., and Van Ryzin, G. G.. (2017b) Motivated reasoning about public performance: An experimental study of how citizens judge the affordable care act. Journal of Public Administration Research and Theory, 27(1), 197209.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
James, O., and Van Ryzin, G. G.. (2019). Rates and the judgment of government performance. Journal of Behavioral Public Administration, 2(2), Scholar
James, O., and John, P.,. (2007). Public Management at the Ballot Box: Performance Information and Electoral Support for Incumbent English Local Governments. Journal of Public Administration Research and Theory, 17(4), 567580.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
Janis, I. (1982). Groupthink: Psychological Studies of Policy Decisions and Fiascoes, 2nd ed. Boston: Houghton Mifflin.Google Scholar
Jenni, K., and Loewenstein, G. (1997). Explaining the identifiable victim effect. Journal of Risk and Uncertainty, 14(3), 235257.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
Joshi, A., and Roh, H. (2009). The role of context in work team diversity research: A meta-analytic review. Academy of Management Journal, 52(3), 9871015.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
Jost, J. T., Nosek, B. A., and Gosling, S. D.. (2008). Ideology: Its resurgence in social, personality, and political psychology. Perspectives on Psychological Science, 3(2), 126136.CrossRefGoogle ScholarPubMed
Kahan, D. M. (2013). Ideology, motivated reasoning, and cognitive reflection. Judgment and Decision Making, 8(4), 407424.Google Scholar
Kahneman, D. (2011). Thinking, Fast and Slow. New York: Farrar, Straus and Giroux.Google Scholar
Kahneman, D., and Tversky, A. (1979). Prospect theory: An analysis of decision under risk. Econometrica: Journal of the Econometric Society, 47(2), 263291.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
Katz, D., Gutek, B. A., Kahn, R. L., and Barton, E. (1977). Bureaucratic Encounters: A Pilot Study in the Evaluation of Government Services. Ann Arbor, MI: Institute for Social Research.Google Scholar
Kelley, J. D., and Simmons, B. A.. (2015). Politics by number: Indicators as social pressure in international relations. American Journal of Political Science, 59(1), 5570.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
Kelman, H. C., and Hovland, C. I.. (1953). “Reinstatement” of the communicator in delayed measurement of opinion change. The Journal of Abnormal and Social Psychology, 48(3), 327.CrossRefGoogle ScholarPubMed
Kogan, V., Lavertu, S., and Peskowitz, Z.. (2016). Do School Report Cards Produce Accountability Through the Ballot Box? Journal of Policy Analysis and Management, 35(3), 639661.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
Kogut, T., and Ritov, I. (2005). The identified victim effect: An identified group, or just a single individual? Journal of Behavioral Decision Making, 18(3), 157167.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
Kroll, A. (2013). The other type of performance information: Nonroutine feedback, its relevance and use. Public Administration Review, 73(2), 265276.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
Kroll, A. (2015). Drivers of performance information use: Systematic literature review and directions for future research. Public Performance and Management Review, 38(3), 459486.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
Kruglanski, A. W. (1996). Motivated social cognition: Principles of the interface. In Kruglanski, A. W. and Higgins, E. T., eds., Social Psychology: Handbook of Basic Principles, New York: Guilford, pp. 493520.Google Scholar
Kunda, Z. (1990). The case for motivated reasoning. Psychological Bulletin, 108(3), 480498.CrossRefGoogle ScholarPubMed
Larsen, M. V. and Olsen, A. L. (2020): Reducing Bias in Citizens’ Perception of Crime Rates: Evidence From a Field Experiment on Burglary Prevalence. Journal of Politics, 82(2).Google Scholar
Lee, I., Herda, T, and Jilke, S. (2018). Pro-Private or Anti-Public Sector Bias? The Impact of Organizational Ownership on Citizens’ Performance Perceptions. Research Paper.Google Scholar
Levin, I. P., and Gaeth, G. J.. (1988). How consumers are affected by the framing of attribute information before and after consuming the product. Journal of Consumer Research, 15(3), 374378.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
Levin, I. P., Schneider, S. L., and Gaeth, G. J.. (1998). All frames are not created equal: A typology and critical analysis of framing effects. Organizational Behavior and Human Decision Processes, 76(2), 149188.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
Levy, Jack S. (1997). Prospect Theory, Rational Choice, and International Relations. International Studies Quarterly, 41(1), 87–112.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
Lieberman, M. D. (2013). Social: Why Our Brains Are Wired to Connect. Oxford: Oxford University Press.Google Scholar
Lipsky, M. (1980). Street-Level Bureaucracy: Dilemmas of the Individual in Public Services. New York: Russell Sage Foundation.Google Scholar
Lodge, M., and Taber, C. S.. (2013). The Rationalizing Voter. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
Loewenstein, George & Prelec, Drazen. (1998). The Red and the Black: Mental Accounting of Savings and Debt. Marketing Science, 17(1), 4–28.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
Malhotra, N., and Kuo, A. G.. (2008). Attributing blame: The public’s response to Hurricane Katrina. Journal of Politics, 70(1), 120135.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
Marvel, J. D. (2016). Unconscious bias in citizens’ evaluations of public sector performance. Journal of Public Administration Research and Theory, 26(1), 143158.Google Scholar
Marvel, J. D. (2015). Public opinion and public sector performance: Are individuals’ beliefs about performance evidence-based or the product of anti–public sector bias? International Public Management Journal, 18(2), 209227.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
Marvel, J. D., and Girth, A. M.. (2016). Citizen attributions of blame in third‐party governance. Public Administration Review 76(1), 96108.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
McCaffery, E. J., and Baron, J. (2003). The Humpty Dumpty blues: Disaggregation bias in the evaluation of tax systems. Organizational Behavior and Human Decision Processes, 91, 230242.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
Meier, K. J., Favero, N, and Zhu, L. (2015). Performance gaps and managerial decisions: A Bayesian decision theory of managerial action. Journal of Public Administration Research and Theory, 25(4), 12211246.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
Merwin, F. E. (1942). The reporting of public affairs. The ANNALS of the American Academy of Political and Social Science, 219(1), 120126.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
Mintzberg, H. (1973). The Nature of Managerial Work. New York: Harper & Row.Google Scholar
Mondak, J. J. (1993). Public opinion and heuristic processing of source cues. Political Behavior, 15(2), 167192.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
Moynihan, D. P. (2008). The Dynamics of Performance Management: Constructing Information and Reform. Washington, DC: Georgetown University Press.Google Scholar
Moynihan, D. P. (2015). Uncovering the circumstances of performance information use findings from an experiment. Public Performance & Management Review, 39(1), 3357.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
Moynihan, D. P., and Beazley, I. (2016). Toward Next-Generation Performance Budgeting: Lessons from the Experiences of Seven Reforming Countries. Washington, DC: The World Bank.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
Moynihan, D.P. and Kroll, A.. (2016). Performance management routines that work: An early assessment of the GPRA Modernization Act. Public Administration Review, 76(2), 314323.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
Moynihan, D. P., and Landuyt, N. (2009). How do public organizations learn? Bridging structural and cultural divides. Public Administration Review, 69(6), 10971105.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
Moynihan, D. P., and Pandey, S. K.. (2010). The big question for performance management: Why do managers use performance information? Journal of Public Administration Research and Theory, 20(4), 849866.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
Mullen, B., Atkins, J, Champion, D, et al. (1985). The false consensus effect: A meta-analysis of 115 hypothesis tests. Journal of Experimental Social Psychology, 21(3), 262283.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
Muller, J. Z. (2018). The tyranny of metrics. Princeton: Princeton University PressGoogle Scholar
Mussweiler, T., and Epstude, K. (2009). Relatively fast! Efficiency advantages of comparative thinking. Journal of Experimental Psychology: General, 138(1), 121.CrossRefGoogle ScholarPubMed
Mussweiler, T., and Posten, A. C.. (2011). Relatively certain! Comparative thinking reduces uncertainty. Cognition, 122(2), 236240.CrossRefGoogle ScholarPubMed
Nannestad, P. (2008). What Have We Learned About Generalized Trust, If Anything? Annual Review of Political Science, 11(1), 413436.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
National Academy of Public Administration. 2018. Strengthening Organizational Health and Performance in Government. Washington DC: National Academy of Public Administration.Google Scholar
Nelson, T. E., Clawson, R. A., and Oxley, Z. M.. (1997). Media framing of a civil liberties conflict and its effect on tolerance. American Political Science Review, 91(3), 567583.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
Nicholson-Crotty, S., Nicholson-Crotty, J, and Fernandez, S. (2017). Performance and management in the public sector: Testing a model of relative risk aversion. Public Administration Review, 77(4), 603614.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
Nickerson, R. (1998). Confirmation bias: A ubiquitous phenomenon in many guises. Review of General Psychology, 2(2), 175220.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
Nielsen, P. A. (2014a). Learning from performance feedback: Performance information, aspiration levels, and managerial priorities. Public Administration, 92(1), 142160.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
Nielsen, P. A. (2014b). Performance management, managerial authority and public service performance. Journal of Public Administration Research and Theory, 24(2), 431458.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
Nielsen, P. A., and Baekgaard, M. (2015). Performance information, blame avoidance, and politicians’ attitudes to spending and reform: Evidence from an experiment. Journal of Public Administration Research and Theory, 25(2), 545569.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
Nielsen, P. A., and Jacobsen, C. B.. (2018). Zone of acceptance under performance measurement: Does performance information affect employee acceptance of management authority? Public Administration Review, 78(5), 684–693CrossRefGoogle Scholar
Nielsen, P. A., and Moynihan, D. P.. (2017). How do politicians attribute bureaucratic responsibility for performance? Negativity bias and interest group advocacy. Journal of Public Administration Research and Theory, 27(2), 269283.Google Scholar
Nisbett, R. E., and Ross, L. (1980). Human Inference: Strategies and Shortcomings of Social Judgment. Englewood Cliffs, NJ: Prentice-Hall.Google Scholar
Nisbett, R. E., and Wilson, T. D.. (1977). The halo effect: Evidence for unconscious alteration of judgments. Journal of Personality and Social Psychology, 35(4), 250256.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
Nyhan, B., and Reifler, J. (2010). When corrections fail: The persistence of political misperceptions. Political Behavior, 32(2), 303330.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
Nyhan, B., and Reifler, J. (2019). The roles of information deficits and identity threat in the prevalence of misperceptions. Journal of Elections, Public Opinion and Parties, 29(2), 222–244.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
Okan, Y., Garcia-Retamero, R, Cokely, E. T., and Maldonado, A. (2012). Individual differences in graph literacy: Overcoming denominator neglect in risk comprehension. Journal of Behavioral Decision Making, 25(4), 390401.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
Olsen, A. L. (2013a). Leftmost-digit-bias in an enumerated public sector? An experiment on citizens' judgment of performance information. Judgment and Decision Making, 8(3), 365.Google Scholar
Olsen, A. L. (2013b). The politics of digits: Evidence of odd taxation. Public Choice, 154(1), 5973.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
Olsen, A. L. (2015a). “Simon said,” we didn’t jump. Public Administration Review, 75(2), 325326.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
Olsen, A. L. (2015b). Negative Performance Information Causes Asymmetrical Evaluations and Elicits Strong Responsibility Attributions. Paper presented at the 111th Annual Meeting of the American Political Science Association, San Francisco, Sept. 3–6.Google Scholar
Olsen, A. L. (2015c). The numerical psychology of performance information: Implications for citizens, managers, and policymakers. Public Performance & Management Review, 39(1), 100115.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
Olsen, A. L. (2015d). Citizen (dis)satisfaction: An experimental equivalence framing study. Public Administration Review, 75(3), 469478.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
Olsen, A. L. (2017a). Human interest or hard numbers? Experiments on citizens’ selection, exposure, and recall of performance information. Public Administration Review, 77(3), 408420.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
Olsen, A. L. (2017b). Compared to what? How social and historical reference points affect citizens’ performance evaluations. Journal of Public Administration Research and Theory, 27(4), 562580.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
Olsen, A. L. and Henriksen, M. V. (2018). Taxes are Money: Tax Metric Salience and Citizens' Tax Preferences. Working PaperGoogle Scholar
Olsen, Asmus (2017c): Symbolic Numbers and Lottoery Tickets. Working Paper.Google Scholar
Ottaviani, M., and Sørensen, P. (2001). Information aggregation in debate: Who should speak first? Journal of Public Economics, 81(3), 393421.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
Pedersen, R. T. (2017). Ratio bias and policy preferences: How equivalency framing of numbers can affect attitudes. Political Psychology, 38(6), 11031120.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
Pedersen, R. T., & Larsen, M. V. (2019). Putting a number on preferences: how numerical attitudes are shaped by ideology and equivalency framing. International Journal of Public Opinion Research, 31(3), 528–548.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
Petersen, N. B. G., Laumann, T, and Jakobsen, M. (2018). Acceptance or disapproval: Performance information in the eyes of public frontline employees. Journal of Public Administration Research and Theory, 29(1), 101117.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
Petersen, M. B., Skov, M, Serritzlew, S and Ramzöy, T. Z.. (2013). Motivated reasoning and political parties: Evidence for increased processing in the face of party cues. Political Behavior, 35(4), 831854.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
Pettus, C., and Diener, E. (1977). Factors affecting the effectiveness of abstract versus concrete information. The Journal of Social Psychology, 103(2), 233242.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
Petty, R. E., and Cacioppo, J. T.. (1986). Communication and Persuasion: Central and Peripheral Routes to Attitude Change. New York: Springer-Verlag.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
Piotrowski, S. J., and Van Ryzin, G. G.. (2007). Citizen attitudes toward transparency in local government. The American Review of Public Administration, 37(3), 306323.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
Pope, D., and Simonsohn, U. (2011). Round numbers as goals: Evidence from baseball, SAT takers, and the lab. Psychological science, 22(1), 7179.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
Pornpitakpan, C. (2004). The persuasiveness of source credibility: A critical review of five decades’ evidence. Journal of Applied Social Psychology, 34(2), 243281.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
Priester, J. R., and Petty, R. E.. (1995). Source attributions and persuasion: Perceived honesty as a determinant of message scrutiny. Personality and Social Psychology Bulletin, 21(6), 637654.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
Prior, M., Sood, G. and Khanna, K.. (2015). You Cannot Be Serious: The Impact of Accuracy Incentives on Partisan Bias in Reports of Economic Perceptions. Quarterly Journal of Political Science, 10(4), 489518.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
Ravitch, D. (2016). The Death and Life of the Great American School System: How Testing and Choice Are Undermining Education. New York: Basic Books.Google Scholar
Redlawsk, D. P., Civettini, A. J. W., and Emmerson, K. M.. (2010). The affective tipping point: Do motivated reasoners ever ‘get it?’. Political Psychology, 31(4), 563593.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
Ridley, C. E. (with H. A. Simon). (1939). Specifications for the annual municipal report; suggestions for the content, preparation, design, publication and distribution of the annual municipal report. Chicago: International City Managers Association.Google Scholar
Roberts, P. S. and Wernstedt, K.. (2019). Decision Biases and Heuristics Among Emergency Managers: Just Like the Public They Manage For? The American Review of Public Administration, 49(3), 292–308.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
Roher, M. (1941). Education of a citizen. National Civic Review, 30(4), 192198.Google Scholar
Rozin, P., and Royzman, E. B.. (2001). Negativity bias, negativity dominance, and contagion. Personality and Social Psychology Review, 5(4), 296320.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
Ryan, R. M., and Deci, E. L.. (2000). Self-determination theory and the facilitation of intrinsic motivation, social development, and well-being. American Psychologist, 55(1), 68.CrossRefGoogle ScholarPubMed
Salge, T. O. (2011). A behavioral model of innovative search: Evidence from public hospital services. Journal of Public Administration Research and Theory, 21(1), 181210.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
Schilling, J., and Kluge, A. (2009). Barriers to organizational learning: An integration of theory and research. International Journal of Management Reviews, 11(3), 337360.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
Schindler, R. M., and Kirby, P. N.. (1997). Patterns of rightmost digits used in advertised prices: Implications for nine-ending effects. Journal of Consumer Research, 24(2), 192201.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
Schindler, R. M., and Wiman, A. R.. (1989). Effects of odd pricing on price recall. Journal of Business Research, 19(3), 165177.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
Shafir, E. (2002). Rationality. Annual Review of Psychology, 53(1), 491517.CrossRefGoogle ScholarPubMed
Sheffer, , Lior, P. Loewen, Soroka, S., Walgrave, S. and Sheafer, T.. (2018). Nonrepresentative Representatives: An Experimental Study of the Decision Making of Elected Politicians. The American Political Science Review, 112(2), 302321.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
Simon, H. A. (1937). Comparative statistics and the measurement of efficiency. National Municipal Review, 26(11), 524527.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
Simon, H. A. (1939). The administrator in search of statistics. Public Management, 21, 106109.Google Scholar
Slattery, K. L., and Hakanen, E. A.. (1994). Trend: Sensationalism versus public affairs content of local TV news: Pennsylvania revisited. Journal of Broadcasting & Electronic Media, 38(2), 205216.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
Slothuus, R., and de Vreese, C. H.. (2010). Political parties, motivated reasoning, and issue framing effects. Journal of Politics, 72(3), 630645.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
Slovic, P. (2010). If I look at the mass I will never act: Psychic numbing and genocide. In Roeser, S, Emotions and Risky Technologies, vol. 5, The International Library of Ethics, Law and Technology. Dordrecht: Springer Netherlands, pp. 3759.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
Smith, P. (1995). On the unintended consequences of publishing performance data in the public 493 sector. International Journal of Public Administration, 18 (2/3), 277310.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
Sniezek, J. A. (1992). Groups under uncertainty: An examination of confidence in group decision making. Organizational Behavior and Human Decision Processes, 52(1), 124155.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
Stiving, M., and Winer, R. S.. (1997). An empirical analysis of price endings with scanner data. Journal of Consumer Research, 24(1), 5767.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
Stone, D. (1997). Policy Paradox: The Art of Political Decision Making. New York: W. W. Norton.Google Scholar
Sunstein, C., and Hastie, R. (2015). Wiser: Getting Beyond Groupthink to Make Groups Smarter. Boston: Harvard Business Review Press.Google Scholar
Taber, C. S., and Lodge, M. (2006). Motivated skepticism in the evaluation of political beliefs. American Journal of Political Science, 50(3), 755769.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
Thaler, R. H. (with L. J. Ganser). (2015). Misbehaving: The Making of Behavioral Economics. New York: W. W. Norton.Google Scholar
Tsai, C. I., Klayman, J, and Hastie, R. (2008). Effects of amount of information on judgment accuracy and confidence. Organizational Behavior and Human Decision Processes, 107(2), 97105.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
Tversky, A., and Kahneman, D. (1992). Advances in prospect theory: Cumulative representation of uncertainty. Journal of Risk and Uncertainty, 5(4), 297323.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
Tversky, A., and Kahneman, D. (1974). Judgment under uncertainty: Heuristics and biases. Science, 185(4157), 11241131.CrossRefGoogle ScholarPubMed
Tversky, A., and Kahneman, D. (1981). The framing of decisions and the psychology of choice. Science, 211(4481), 453458.CrossRefGoogle ScholarPubMed
Tyler, T. R. (1990). Why People Obey the Law. New Haven, CT: Yale University Press.Google Scholar
Upson, L. D. (1915). The value of municipal exhibits. National Civic Review, 4(1), 6569.Google Scholar
van der Linden, S., Leiserowitz, A. and Maibach, E.. (2018). Scientific agreement can neutralize politicization of facts. Nature Human Behaviour, 2(1), 2–3.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
Van de Walle, S. (2004). Context-specific images of the archetypical bureaucrat: Persistence and diffusion of the bureaucracy stereotype. Public Voices, 7(1), 3.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
Van de Walle, S. and Van Dooren, W (2008). Introduction: Using public sector performance information. In Van Dooren, W and Van de Walle, S, Performance Information in the Public Sector: How It Is Used. London: Palgrave Macmillan, pp. 110.Google Scholar
Van Ryzin, G. G. (2004). Expectations, performance, and citizen satisfaction with urban services. Journal of Policy Analysis and Management, 23(3), 433448.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
Van Ryzin, G. G. (2013). An experimental test of the expectancy-disconfirmation theory of citizen satisfaction. Journal of Policy Analysis and Management, 32(3), 597614.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
Van Slyke, D. and Roch, C.. (2004). What Do They Know, and Whom Do They Hold Accountable? Citizens in the Government Nonprofit Contracting Relationship. Journal of Public Administration Research and Theory, 14(2), 191209.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
Vavreck, L. (2017). A Measure of Identity: Are You Wedded to your Party. New York Times. January 30, A3.Google Scholar
Webeck, S., & Nicholson-Crotty, S. (2019). How Historical and Social Comparisons Influence Interpretations of Performance Information. International Public Management Journal, 1–24.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
Woolpert, E. D. (1940). Government: Municipal public relations. Public Opinion Quarterly, 4(1), 164167.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
YouGov (2018) How good is good? Last Accessed March 26th 2020.Google Scholar
Zillmann, D. (2006). Exemplification effects in the promotion of safety and health. Journal of Communication, 56(S1), S221S237.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
Cited by