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April: Month of the Military Child

current events / featured / psychology / military

At Fors Marsh Group, we’ve long supported and conducted research with military service members throughout the military career lifecycle – from new recruits, to current active duty and reserve component service members, to service members transitioning back to civilian life. At each stage of their journey, there is one constant that remains, and that is family. This April marks the 30th anniversary of the Month of the Military Child, which seeks to recognize the contributions and sacrifices made by the youngest members of our nation’s military community. There are nearly 2 million U.S. military children, including over 1.1 million children of Active Duty service members and 700,000 children of Reserve Component service members. Approximately 37% of military children are age 5 and under, 31% are... more

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The Formidable Journey to Quality Healthcare for All

featured / public health / health communication / behavioral change

Early April in D.C. typically marks cherry blossom season; however this year’s early bloom means we’re freed up to celebrate other important events like National Public Health Week. While it may not be as festive, NPHW is a time of year to recognize not only what we’ve accomplished in public health but also what is left to be done. This year’s theme, to “make the U.S. the healthiest Nation in One Generation,” establishes a vision for vastly improving the health of our country by 2030. Achieving this vision requires not only transformation in the policy and structure of our healthcare system but also health behavior change at the community, family and individual level.

One objective of this vision is to achieve "quality healthcare... more

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The Role of Feedback in Goal-Setting and Employee Evaluation

featured / blog / performance reviews / career development / organizational performance

Fors Marsh Group Goal Setting Process

Now that we’ve defined goals and discussed both where they come from and how they link to performance evaluations, I’d like to spend most of this second post discussing the middle part of the goal-setting cycle (namely feedback and revision). There’s a lot of discussion surrounding “how to give feedback” that is, frankly, not relevant to the questions at hand in this blog post. Instead, we’ll focus on the role of feedback play in goal setting and performance appraisal. Let’s tackle each of these independently.

Feedback and Goal-Setting

If you remember, we’ve defined goals as measurable behavioral plans that bridge a gap between an employee’s current and desired proficiency levels.... more

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The Goal-Setting Cycle – When SMART Just Isn’t Enough

featured / blog / performance reviews / career development / organizational performance

"Regardless of the system used, in the vast majority of cases, all of the parties involved are unhappy with the appraisal process" - DeNisi & Sonesh (2011)

I’m not sure there’s another sentence of any article that’s stuck with me more than the one above. DeNisi and Sonesh go on to describe that, they believe, this is because nothing productive ever comes out of the review process. Perhaps this is because it took us as I/O Psychologists until the early 1990s to realize that performance improvement should be the ultimate goal of the evaluation process.1 This notion – that performance appraisals exist not only to measure but also to improve employees’ performance – represented a fundamental shift in a field that was... more

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Data and Elections

featured / blog / in the news / voting

There has been quite a bit of media coverage this week about the long lines that occurred at the polls in Maricopa County, Arizona during the recent primary elections. The questions raised include whether the lines were caused by having too few voting locations and confusion over new voter identification requirements. However, the bigger issue was likely a lack of staffing at the polling locations and lack of care in selecting where to locate the polls.

In our book Evaluating Elections: A Handbook of Methods and Standards, Michael Alvarez, Lonna Atkeson, and I discuss how simple data analysis can help local election offices avoid making simple election mistakes. A simple review of the historical data for Maricopa County suggests that having... more

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Entertainment Education for Creatively Changing Health Behaviors

featured / communication research / public health / advertising / communication

After seeing the Academy Award-winning movie The Big Short, I completely agree with the praise the film received at the Oscars for distilling complicated economic concepts into terms that regular folks like you and I can understand. The Big Short is just one example of how entertainment media can be successful in educating people—not despite the fact it's entertaining but rather because it's entertaining.

Entertainment education is a communication strategy in which theories of communication, education, psychology, and drama are used to create an education and behavior change message for addressing social issues. That message is then woven into an appealing and persuasive media format to reach a specific media audience.

Entertainment education has been used in countries around the world to successfully increase... more

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