The Mechanisms and Outcomes of Evaluation Influence

Melvin M. Mark, Gary T. Henry

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

179 Scopus citations


Past literature has identified several putative precursors of use, as well as alternative forms of use. However, important shortcomings still exist in previous work on use. In particular, inadequate attention has been given to the underlying processes that may mediate the effects of evaluation on attitude and action. In essence, a key part of the theory of change for evaluation itself is missing. To help fill this gap, we describe a framework designed to capture key mechanisms through which evaluation may have its effects. The framework includes change processes that have been validated in various social science literatures. It identifies three levels of analysis (individual, interpersonal and collective), each with four kinds of processes (general influence, attitudinal, motivational and behavioral). With a more comprehensive view of the mechanisms underlying evaluation’s influence, the field can move forward in relation to its understanding and facilitation of evaluation’s role in the service of social betterment.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)35-57
Number of pages23
Issue number1
StatePublished - Jan 1 2004

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Development
  • Sociology and Political Science


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