Department of Political Science

Søren Serritzlew

Those who understand it will not be persuaded: A performance information paradox

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DOI

ABSTRACT: Performance information has been suggested as a means to inform citizens about—and shape their reactions to—public sector performance. However, individuals’ ability to process information varies considerably. This implies that the same item of performance information may be understood differently by different citizens. Drawing on cognitive psychology research, we argue that cognitive differences affect citizens’ ability to interpret performance information and moderate the extent to which performance information affects citizen satisfaction with public services. The argument is tested in a large-scale survey experiment. Our findings provide evidence of a performance information paradox: Those who are better able to interpret performance information do not adjust their satisfaction levels in response to the information. Conversely, those with lesser abilities to interpret and understand performance information are more responsive to it, but their responses are often based on invalid interpretations.

Original languageEnglish
JournalInternational Public Management Journal
Volume23
Issue1
Pages (from-to)138-160
Number of pages23
ISSN1096-7494
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 2020

    Research areas

  • ATTITUDES, BEHAVIOR, BLAME, FIELD, GOVERNMENT, NUMERACY, PERCEPTIONS, RISK

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