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

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  • Mira Fischer

    () (WZB Berlin Social Science Center/ IZA Institute of Labor Economics)

  • Valentin Wagner

    () (Johannes Gutenberg-Universität 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

  • Mira Fischer & Valentin Wagner, 2018. "Effects of Timing and Reference Frame of Feedback: Evidence from a Field Experiment," Working Papers 1820, Gutenberg School of Management and Economics, Johannes Gutenberg-Universität Mainz.
  • Handle: RePEc:jgu:wpaper:1820
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    1. repec:eee:ecoedu:v:64:y:2018:i:c:p:313-342 is not listed on IDEAS
    2. Damgaard, Mette Trier & Nielsen, Helena Skyt, 2018. "Nudging in education," Economics of Education Review, Elsevier, vol. 64(C), pages 313-342.
    3. Brade, Raphael & Himmler, Oliver & Jäckle, Robert, 2018. "Normatively Framed Relative Performance Feedback – Field Experiment and Replication," MPRA Paper 88830, University Library of Munich, Germany.

    More about this item

    Keywords

    timing of feedback; change and level feedback; motivation; field experiment;

    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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