This paper explores how anonymity, when used in peer evaluations, can alter the validity of the responses collected. A survey was administered to 125 Eastern Kentucky University Housing Residence Assistants; the survey asked questions about their respective staff and supervisor for the 2017–2018 academic year. Half of the surveys were administered anonymously, and half required a name to be given at the beginning. These groups were determined by random selection. Surveys were administered three times and results were analyzed. The main question of interest was the following: Will anonymity lead to more honest, and possibly more negative, responses? In order to evaluate this question, two Fisher’s exact tests were performed. One test was performed to test whether anonymity was significant when naming coworkers who needed improvement. The other test was to see if anonymity played a significant role when evaluating a staff as a whole, and the positivity of the wording was evaluated. Both of these questions required write-in responses and the name question was the only one that could be skipped on either survey. Anonymity was found to play a significant role when it came to directly naming coworkers who needed improvement and evaluating respective staffs as a whole.
Semester/Year of Award
Dr. Lisa W. Kay
Department of Mathematics and Statistics
Restricted Access Thesis
Mathematics and Statistics
IRB Approval Number (if applicable)
Pennell, Jamie C., "Peer Evaluations: How Identity Shifts Judgment" (2018). Honors Theses. 572.