ERIC Number: ED251755
Record Type: RIE
Publication Date: 1984-Mar
Reference Count: 0
Consensual Agreement in Leader Behavior Descriptions and Leader Prototypes.
Rush, Michael C.; And Others
The proposition that individuals process social information in terms of existing cognitive schemata has generated considerable research suggesting that behavioral descriptions of leaders reflect individually held prototypes of leadership rather than descriptive reports of behavior. While plausible, evidence of such claims is difficult to show unequivocally since the research often involves individual level, within-person analyses. A between-person strategy was used to examine whether people with diverse backgrounds, who held common prototypes of leadership, would describe their leaders in a similar fashion. Employed graduate students (N=60) were asked to provide descriptions of their supervisors as well as prototypic (ideal) good and poor leader descriptions. Results showed a significant correlation between described and good leader profiles for those evaluating their supervisor as good, and between described and poor leader profiles for those describing their supervisor as poor. These results indicate a marked tendency for individuals with diverse backgrounds and experience, who hold common evaluatively labeled prototypes of leadership, to describe their commonly evaluated leaders in a similar fashion. The results, while not indicating that descriptions and prototypes are isomorphic, do suggest that evaluative judgments trigger particular prototypes instrumental in the process of reconstructive memory and description. (Author/JAC)
Publication Type: Reports - Research; Speeches/Meeting Papers
Education Level: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Identifiers: Behavior Descriptions; Consensus; Prototypes
Note: Paper presented at the Annual Meeting of the Southeastern Psychological Association (30th, New Orleans, LA, March 28-31, 1984).