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Normatively Framed Relative Performance Feedback – Field Experiment and Replication

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  • Brade, Raphael
  • Himmler, Oliver
  • Jäckle, Robert

Abstract

Feedback can help individuals put their performance into perspective, especially when transitioning into a new environment such as university or a different job. In a randomized field experiment we give first-year university students normatively framed relative performance feedback about their accumulated course credits. We find an increase in subsequent performance, but only when the feedback is positive. Using a regression discontinuity design, we show that the improved performance is not driven by unobserved characteristics of those receiving positive feedback, but that it is indeed due to the positive rather than negative nature of the feedback. We administer a replication experiment with the next wave of first-year students one year later and reproduce the results. Survey data provides suggestive evidence that positive feedback has an effect on behavior when students underestimate their relative performance, and that consistent with a mechanism of selective information processing, individuals focus on positive feedback to adjust their beliefs.

Suggested Citation

  • Brade, Raphael & Himmler, Oliver & Jäckle, Robert, 2018. "Normatively Framed Relative Performance Feedback – Field Experiment and Replication," MPRA Paper 88830, University Library of Munich, Germany.
  • Handle: RePEc:pra:mprapa:88830
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    File URL: https://mpra.ub.uni-muenchen.de/113016/1/MPRA_paper_113016.pdf
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    Cited by:

    1. Dobrescu, Isabella & Faravelli, Marco & Megalokonomou, Rigissa & Motta, Alberto, 2019. "Rank Incentives and Social Learning: Evidence from a Randomized Controlled Trial," IZA Discussion Papers 12437, Institute of Labor Economics (IZA).
    2. Fischer, Mira & Wagner, Valentin, 2018. "Effects of timing and reference frame of feedback: Evidence from a field experiment," Discussion Papers, Research Unit: Market Behavior SP II 2018-206, WZB Berlin Social Science Center.
    3. 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.
    4. 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.

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    More about this item

    Keywords

    Relative Performance Feedback; Higher Education; Randomized Field Experiment; Replication; Selective Information Processing;
    All these keywords.

    JEL classification:

    • C93 - Mathematical and Quantitative Methods - - Design of Experiments - - - Field Experiments
    • I23 - Health, Education, and Welfare - - Education - - - Higher Education; Research Institutions

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