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The effects of expectancy-incongruent feedback and self-affirmation on task performance of secondary school students

Abstract

In the present study, the assumption was tested that expectancy-incongruent feedback in conjunction with explicit self-affirmation directs attention away from the task and to the self. As a result, performance should decrease in resource-sensitive text/picture comprehension tasks as compared to resource-insensitive tasks. Three hundred and thirty-seven fifth graders first completed either easy or difficult text/picture comprehension tasks and then rated their learning outcome. After that, they received bogus feedback that had been congruent or incongruent with their expectations. In addition, half of the participants were given the opportunity for self-affirmation before they completed additional easy or difficult text/picture tasks. As predicted, feedback better than expected or worse than expected impaired performance in the resource-sensitive tasks but only in the self-affirmation condition. The results are discussed with regard to central assumptions of the feedback intervention theory (Kluger and DeNisi, Psychological Bulletin, 119: 254–284, 1996) and practical implications for the provision of feedback.

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Authors and Affiliations

Authors

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Correspondence to Christiane Baadte.

Additional information

Christiane Baadte. Johannes Gutenberg-Universität Mainz, Psychologisches Institut, Binger Straße 14-16, 55122 Mainz, Germany. E-mail: baadte@uni-mainz.de

Current themes of research:

Cognitive processes and mental model construction with texts, illustrations, and multiple representations. Working memory and learning with multimedia. Working memory and the processing of feedback. Effects of feedback on self-regulated text/picture comprehension. Didactic and diagnostic competences of teachers. Attachment and self/emotion regulation.

Most relevant publications in the field of Psychology of Education:

Baadte, C., & Dutke, S. (2013). Learning about persons: The effects of text structure and executive capacity on conceptual change. European Journal of Psychology of Education, 28, 1045–1064. doi: 10.1007/s10212-012-0153-2.

Baadte, C., Rasch, T., & Honstein, H. (2015). Attention switching and multimedia learning: The impact of executive resources on the integrative comprehension of texts and pictures. Scandinavian Journal of Educational Research, 59, 478498. doi: 10.1080/00313831.2014.965785.

Baadte, C., & Schnotz, W. (2014). Feedback effects on performance, motivation and mood: Are they moderated by the learner’s self-concept? Scandinavian Journal of Educational Research, 58, 570–591. doi: 10.1080/00313831.2013.781059.

Schnotz, W., & Baadte, C. (2015). Surface and deep structures in graphics comprehension. Memory & Cognition, 43, 605–618. doi: 10.3758/s13421-014-0490-2.

Schnotz, W., Mengelkamp, C., Baadte, C., & Hauck, G. (2014). Focus of attention and choice of text modality in multimedia learning. European Journal of Psychology of Education, 29, 483–501. doi: 10.1007/s10212-013-0209-y.

Friedrike Kurenbach. University of Koblenz-Landau, Fortstr. 7, 76829 Landau, Germany. E-mail: fuchs@uni-landau.de

Current themes of research:

Teacher education. School psychology.

Most relevant publications in the field of Psychology of Education:

None.

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Baadte, C., Kurenbach, F. The effects of expectancy-incongruent feedback and self-affirmation on task performance of secondary school students. Eur J Psychol Educ 32, 113–131 (2017). https://doi.org/10.1007/s10212-016-0312-y

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  • DOI: https://doi.org/10.1007/s10212-016-0312-y

Keywords

  • Feedback
  • Self-affirmation
  • Attention shifting
  • Cognitive resources
  • Text/picture comprehension