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Both Positive and Negative Feedback can Affect Performance: Study

by Krishna Bora on August 18, 2012 at 12:13 PM
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Both Positive and Negative Feedback can Affect Performance: Study

In a new study, a team of researchers and psychologists observes that some feedback affects the performance.

In a new study, it has been observed that when people received either positive or negative feedback about their performance on complex decision-making tasks, it made their decision making worse.

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"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," said study author Dr Magda Osman.

"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," she added.
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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," she said.

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 stated.

The study was published in the journal Frontiers in Neuroscience.

Source: ANI
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