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Effects of Timing and Reference Frame of Feedback: Evidence from a Field Experiment

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  • Fischer, Mira

    (WZB - Social Science Research Center Berlin)

  • Wagner, Valentin

    (University of Mainz)

Abstract

Information about past performance has been found to sometimes improve and sometimes worsen subsequent performance. Two factors may help to explain this puzzle: which aspect of one's past performance the information refers to and when it is revealed. In a field experiment in secondary schools, students received information about their absolute rank in the last math exam (level feedback), their change in ranks between the second-last and the last math exam (change feedback), or no feedback. Feedback was given either 1-3 days (early) or immediately (late) before the final math exam of the semester. Both level feedback and change feedback significantly improve students' grades in the final exam when given early and tend to worsen them when given late. The largest effects are found for negative change feedback and are concentrated on male students, who adjust their ability beliefs downwards in response to feedback.

Suggested Citation

  • Fischer, Mira & Wagner, Valentin, 2018. "Effects of Timing and Reference Frame of Feedback: Evidence from a Field Experiment," IZA Discussion Papers 11970, Institute of Labor Economics (IZA).
  • Handle: RePEc:iza:izadps:dp11970
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    Cited by:

    1. Felipe Arteaga & Adam J Kapor & Christopher A Neilson & Seth D Zimmerman, 2022. "Smart Matching Platforms and Heterogeneous Beliefs in Centralized School Choice," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 137(3), pages 1791-1848.
    2. Damgaard, Mette Trier & Nielsen, Helena Skyt, 2018. "Nudging in education," Economics of Education Review, Elsevier, vol. 64(C), pages 313-342.
    3. Gerhard Riener & Sebastian Schneider & Valentin Wagner, 2020. "Addressing Validity and Generalizability Concerns in Field Experiments," Discussion Paper Series of the Max Planck Institute for Research on Collective Goods 2020_16, Max Planck Institute for Research on Collective Goods.
    4. Gwen-Jiro Clochard & Guillaume Hollard & Julia Wirtz, 2022. "More effort or better technologies? On the effect of relative performance feedback," Bristol Economics Discussion Papers 22/767, School of Economics, University of Bristol, UK.
    5. Hermes, Henning & Huschens, Martin & Rothlauf, Franz & Schunk, Daniel, 2021. "Motivating low-achievers—Relative performance feedback in primary schools," Journal of Economic Behavior & Organization, Elsevier, vol. 187(C), pages 45-59.
    6. Tim Klausmann, 2021. "Feedback in Homogeneous Ability Groups: A Field Experiment," Working Papers 2114, Gutenberg School of Management and Economics, Johannes Gutenberg-Universität Mainz.
    7. Beuchert, Louise & Eriksen, Tine Louise Mundbjerg & Krægpøth, Morten Visby, 2020. "The impact of standardized test feedback in math: Exploiting a natural experiment in 3rd grade," Economics of Education Review, Elsevier, vol. 77(C).
    8. Delaney, Judith & Devereux, Paul J., 2021. "Gender and Educational Achievement: Stylized Facts and Causal Evidence," CEPR Discussion Papers 15753, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
    9. Christopher Neilson & Felipe Arteaga & Adam Kapor & Seth Zimmerman, 2021. "Smart Matching Platforms and Heterogeneous Beliefs in Centralized School ChoiceSmart Matching Platforms and Heterogeneous Beliefs in Centralized School Choice," Working Papers 650, Princeton University, Department of Economics, Industrial Relations Section..
    10. Brade, Raphael & Himmler, Oliver & Jäckle, Robert, 2018. "Normatively Framed Relative Performance Feedback – Field Experiment and Replication," MPRA Paper 88830, University Library of Munich, Germany.

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    More about this item

    Keywords

    timing of feedback; change and level feedback; motivation; field experiment;
    All these keywords.

    JEL classification:

    • I21 - Health, Education, and Welfare - - Education - - - Analysis of Education
    • M54 - Business Administration and Business Economics; Marketing; Accounting; Personnel Economics - - Personnel Economics - - - Labor Management
    • D91 - Microeconomics - - Micro-Based Behavioral Economics - - - Role and Effects of Psychological, Emotional, Social, and Cognitive Factors on Decision Making

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