The effects of feedback interventions on performance: A historical review, a meta-analysis, and a preliminary feedback intervention theory

Avraham N. Kluger*, Angelo DeNisi

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

3647 Scopus citations

Abstract

Since the beginning of the century, feedback interventions (FIs) produced negative-but largely ignored-effects on performance. A meta-analysis (607 effect sizes; 23,663 observations) suggests that FIs improved performance on average (d =.41) but that over 1/3 of the FIs decreased performance. This finding cannot be explained by sampling error, feedback sign, or existing theories. The authors proposed a preliminary FI theory (FIT) and tested it with moderator analyses. The central assumption of FIT is that FIs change the locus of attention among 3 general and hierarchically organized levels of control: task learning, task motivation, and meta-tasks (including self-related) processes. The results suggest that FI effectiveness decreases as attention moves up the hierarchy closer to the self and away from the task. These findings are further moderated by task characteristics that are still poorly understood.

Original languageAmerican English
Pages (from-to)254-284
Number of pages31
JournalPsychological Bulletin
Volume119
Issue number2
DOIs
StatePublished - Mar 1996

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