Science Current Events | Science News | Brightsurf.com
 

Feedback can have a negative impact on performance

August 15, 2012
Research shows not all feedback is good for you

People who give positive encouragement and constructive criticism could be wasting their breath according to the latest research from a psychology expert at Queen Mary, University of London.

The study, published in the journal Frontiers in Neuroscience, found that when people received either positive or negative feedback about their performance on complex decision-making tasks, it made their decision making worse.

Study author Dr Magda Osman explained: "The kind of task people had to perform was difficult and demanding. So, when people received positive or negative feedback, it overloaded them with too much information and distracted them from making a good decision.

"We found that people's performance got worse when they had to make sense of the feedback they were given while also performing the main task.

"The role of feedback is overemphasised. People typically think that any form of feedback should improve performance in many tasks, and the more frequently it is given the better performance will be.

"However what needs to be considered is how complex the task is in the first place, because this will determine how much feedback will actually interfere with rather than facilitate performance."

The study involved about 100 people who were given the task of choosing how best to either predict or control the state of health of a baby, revealing that feedback can play a negative role in a particularly complex decision-making scenario.

However Dr Osman said this type of finding can be generalised and applied to a variety of other complex situations.

"The introduction of smart energy meters into the home to monitor the amount of energy you're consuming seems like a nice 'green' idea to help you consume less energy, but the complexity of the feedback people receive may not necessarily help them to reduce their energy consumption," she said.

"If the energy meter keeps changing and people are unable to track what appliances are on, how could they possibly learn how to lower their energy consumption?

"People are already being bombarded with high levels of complex information with the influx of new technology into our lives and the increasing reliance on information from the smorgasbord of apps we have at our fingertips. It is bound to take its toll on our ability to make good choices in difficult decision-making situations."

Dr Osman warns that people in management positions need to be aware of the type of feedback they are providing to their staff.

"We have shown that feedback really doesn't help people who are making complex decisions. People in management positions need to give their staff more time to analyse and evaluate things in detail when dealing with difficult situations so they can come up with solutions without any distractions in order to get the best out of them."

Dr Osman added that her findings disagree with Nobel prize winner Daniel Kahneman who writes in his popular book 'Thinking, Fast and Slow' that feedback is good, and is also at odds with the authors Richard Thaler and Cass Sunstein whose book 'Nudge: Improving Decisions about Health, Wealth and Happiness' was named Best Book of the Year by The Economist.

"My work shows that feedback alone is not enough to ensure success in decision making. I may not be popular for my research into the role of feedback in complex decision-making tasks but I hope it will make some people think twice about whether they could potentially hinder people's performance with the feedback they provide," she said.

Queen Mary, University of London


Related Constructive Criticism Current Events and Constructive Criticism News Articles


Experts call to end secrecy surrounding approval of new drugs
Changes are urgently needed to end the secrecy surrounding approval of new drugs in Europe, argue experts on bmj.com today.
More Constructive Criticism Current Events and Constructive Criticism News Articles

Constructing Effective Criticism: How to Give, Receive, and Seek Productive and Constructive Criticism in Our Lives

Constructing Effective Criticism: How to Give, Receive, and Seek Productive and Constructive Criticism in Our Lives
by Randy Garner PhD (Author)


This is one of those rare books that can change your thinking and your behavior. Dr. Garner helps us to see criticism in a whole new light. Criticism can be difficult whether you are giving it or receiving it. This book will help you to give criticism more effectively, to receive criticism less defensively, and to seek criticism with less anxiety. Constructing Effective Criticism provides a road map for handling the criticism-prone situations that we all experience in our daily lives.

Rhetorical Criticism: Exploration and Practice

Rhetorical Criticism: Exploration and Practice
by Sonja K. Foss (Author)


Understanding the processes of rhetorical criticism--the systematic investigation and explanation of symbolic acts and artifacts--creates opportunities for more effective communication. When we are aware of the various options available in the construction of messages and how they function to produce effects, we have the tools needed to question the messages in artifacts rather than responding uncritically. Sonja Foss, who has an enviable talent for synthesizing complex rhetorical concepts and processes into clear explanations, presents nine methods of rhetorical criticism. She carefully explains and illustrates the theory behind each method with abundant examples of applications. Interesting and lively essays, some written by students, encourage readers to develop their critical skills....

Mindset: The New Psychology of Success

Mindset: The New Psychology of Success
by Carol Dweck (Author)


World-renowned Stanford University psychologist Carol Dweck, in decades of research on achievement and success, has discovered a truly groundbreaking idea–the power of our mindset.

Dweck explains why it’s not just our abilities and talent that bring us success–but whether we approach them with a fixed or growth mindset. She makes clear why praising intelligence and ability doesn’t foster self-esteem and lead to accomplishment, but may actually jeopardize success. With the right mindset, we can motivate our kids and help them to raise their grades, as well as reach our own goals–personal and professional. Dweck reveals what all great parents, teachers, CEOs, and athletes already know: how a simple idea about the brain can create a love of learning and a resilience that is...

The Truth Doesn't Have to Hurt: How to Use Criticism to Strengthen Relationships, Improve Performance, and Promote Change

The Truth Doesn't Have to Hurt: How to Use Criticism to Strengthen Relationships, Improve Performance, and Promote Change
by Deb Bright Ed.D (Author)


Nobody likes criticism. Handled poorly, it too often stings and breeds resentment--and most of us try to avoid it at all costs. But criticism--crafted carefully and communicated skillfully--promotes trust and respect, motivates individuals, and serves as a catalyst for change. It has the ability to turbocharge workplaces and careers. If that sounds far-fetched, it's because few understand how to properly give and receive the kind of critical feedback that brings positive results. "The Truth Doesn't Have to Hurt" rejuvenates this powerful but neglected art form. Executives, managers, team leaders--anyone who needs to temper praise with a dose of reality--will learn to: Deliver the truth and have it taken as helpful - Create an atmosphere of acceptance - Avoid mistakes that sabotage an...

Fall Down 7 Times, Get Up 8: Teaching Kids to Succeed

Fall Down 7 Times, Get Up 8: Teaching Kids to Succeed
by Debbie Silver (Author)


A fresh approach to getting kids to work smarter and better, not just harder Award-winning teacher and best-selling author Debbie Silver addresses the relationship between student motivation and risking failure, calling failure a temporary “glitch” that provides valuable learning opportunities. She explains motivational theory, provides down-to-earth—often humorous—real life examples, and outlines concrete, applicable guidelines for helping students overcome setbacks and failure to foster lifelong success. Key topics include: How to help students become autonomous, enthusiastic, lifelong learners Why failure is not only an option, but a very concrete way of gaining ground The difference between a “pep talk” and specific, relevant feedback that enhances...

How to Stop Worrying and Start Living

How to Stop Worrying and Start Living
by Dale Carnegie (Author)


This book can change your life!

Through Dale Carnegie’s six-million-copy bestseller recently revised, millions of people have been helped to overcome the worry habit. Dale Carnegie offers a set of practical formulas you can put to work today. In our fast-paced world—formulas that will last a lifetime!

Discover how to:
Eliminate fifty percent of business worries immediately Reduce financial worries Avoid fatigue—and keep looking you Add one hour a day to your waking life Find yourself and be yourself—remember there is no one else on earth like you!
How to Stop Worrying and Start Living deals with fundamental emotions and ideas. It is fascinating to read and easy to apply. Let it change and improve you. There’s no need to live with worry and anxiety that...

Resilience: Facing Down Rejection and Criticism on the Road to Success

Resilience: Facing Down Rejection and Criticism on the Road to Success
by Mark McGuinness (Author)


If you want to achieve something original and meaningful with your life, you MUST learn to deal with rejection and criticism.

If you're an artist of any kind your work will be rejected by editors, curators and other gatekeepers. And each time you put it in front of the public, you expose yourself to criticism.

If you're an entrepreneur you face rejection by (potential) customers, partners and investors. Those same people won't hesitate to criticize you if they are unhappy (justified or not).

If you're chasing your dream job you'll receive your share of rejection letters. And once you land the job, taking flak when things go wrong is part of the deal.

If you're an athlete or sports player it's a battle to get on the team. And you'll hear about it from all sides...

Think and Grow Rich

Think and Grow Rich
by Napoleon Hill (Author)


Think and grow rich is the most important financial book ever written. Napoleon Hill researched more than forty millionaires to find out what made them the men that they were. In this book he imparts that knowledge to you. Once you've read this book you will understand what gives certain people an edge over everyone else. By following the advice laid out clearly in this book you'll be the one with an edge. It's time to stop wondering what it's like to be rich and start knowing. This book has changed countless lives and it can change yours! Unlike many of the other editions on the market today, this edition is complete and unabridged!

Think and Grow Rich: The Landmark Bestseller - Now Revised and Updated for the 21st Century

Think and Grow Rich: The Landmark Bestseller - Now Revised and Updated for the 21st Century
by Napoleon Hill (Author), Arthur R. Pell (Contributor)



Think and Grow Rich has been called the "Granddaddy of All Motivational Literature." It was the first book to boldly ask, "What makes a winner?" The man who asked and listened for the answer, Napoleon Hill, is now counted in the top ranks of the world's winners himself. The most famous of all teachers of success spent "a fortune and the better part of a lifetime of effort" to produce the "Law of Success" philosophy that forms the basis of his books and that is so powerfully summarized in this one. In the original Think and Grow Rich, published in 1937, Hill draws on stories of Andrew Carnegie, Thomas Edison, Henry Ford, and other millionaires of his generation to illustrate his principles. In the updated version, Arthur R. Pell, Ph.D., a nationally known author, lecturer, and...

Trinity and Revelation: A Constructive Christian Theology for the Pluralistic World, volume 2

Trinity and Revelation: A Constructive Christian Theology for the Pluralistic World, volume 2
by Veli-Matti Karkkainen (Author)


In this book Pentecostal theologian Veli-Matti Karkkainen develops a constructive theology of triune revelation and the triune God in dialogue with Christian tradition, with contemporary theology in its global and contextual diversity, and with other major living faiths.

Karkkainen's Constructive Christian Theology for the Pluralistic World is a five-volume project that aims to develop a new approach to and method of doing Christian theology in a pluralistic world at the beginning of the third millennium. With the metaphor of hospitality serving as the framework for his discussion, Karkkainen engages Judaism, Islam, Buddhism, and Hinduism in sympathetic and critical mutual dialogue while remaining robustly Christian in his convictions. Never before has a fullscale doctrinal...

© 2014 BrightSurf.com