The Psychological Record

, Volume 64, Issue 2, pp 217–232 | Cite as

The Impact of Goals and Pay on Feedback-Seeking Behavior

  • Julie M. SlowiakEmail author
  • Ashley Nuetzman
Original Article



In light of the increasing use of electronic feedback systems in organizational settings, this study contributes to feedback-seeking research to examine feedback-seeking behavior and task performance when outcome feedback is paired with and without an assigned goal, under hourly and performance-based pay.

Participants & Method

A total of 120 undergraduate students attended three 45-minute sessions and performed a data-entry task, during which they were able to solicit immediate insession feedback.


Descriptive and visual analyses indicated that feedback seeking occurred frequently across experimental sessions and increased as the time to the end of the session decreased. These trends are discussed herein. Task performance was significantly higher for individuals who were paid incentives, and patterns in performance across sessions differed significantly between pay groups. Although the inclusion of an assigned performance goal did not significantly enhance performance or the frequency of feedback seeking, descriptive analyses revealed that both feedback seeking and task performance were higher for those who received an assigned goal.


Identifying the function of feedback-seeking behavior, as well as variables that may influence or interact with this behavior, may be useful when developing and implementing optimal and effective feedback systems.


Feedback-seeking behavior Pay systems Assigned performance goals 



This research was supported by funds from the Office of the Vice President for Research at the University of Minnesota Duluth.


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Copyright information

© Association of Behavior Analysis International 2014

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Department of PsychologyUniversity of Minnesota DuluthDuluthUSA

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