Social valuation across multiple audiences: The interplay between ability and identity judgments
How is an evaluating audience influenced by previous evaluations made by another audience? We develop theory about how evaluators’ assessment is shaped by previous evaluations made by an external (non- peer) audience. We argue that the latter positively influence peer valuation by pointing to candidates’ unobservable abilities; yet, being conferred by an external audience, they are also indicative of candidates’ deviation from an expected peer identity. The two opposite effects suggest an inverted U-shaped relationship between exogenous indices and peer valuation. Further, this effect is moderated by the identity proximity between audiences, and the availability of previous peer evaluations (endogenous indices). We find support for our arguments using data on peer valuation of 9,502 scientists applying for research grants.
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