Examining the Effects of Directive Feedback Compared to Basic Feedback on a Problem Solving Task
AuthorGarlock, Monica M.
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Feedback is the most frequently applied method to change behavior in organizational settings. This study uses informational or directive feedback and basic feedback to identify organizational work patterns during a problem solving task. In a computer analog study, participants were asked to identify successful three-letter codes that correspond to product movement from a factory to store. The more successful codes entered, the more product was moved. The methodology for this experiment is ABABC and BABAC within-subject reversal design with additional group analyses. In one phase (A), the participant received basic feedback in the form of only “correct or incorrect” for an entered code. In phase (B), the participant received directive feedback in the form of “correct” or partially correct (e.g., “2 of 3 letters” or “0 of 3 letters” correct). In phase (C), the participants were given the option to choose one of the previous types of feedback for continued participation or choose to end the program. The addition of the free choice condition is similar to the methodology used in early near-miss experimentation for slot machine gambling research. The dependent variables included response accuracy defined as successful codes for all discrete trials, productivity defined as the amount of product moved per minute, response maintenance defined as time in the free choice phase, estimated compared to actual time in each phase, and survey answers for social validity. Based on the results, participants demonstrated statistically significantly higher response accuracy levels and productivity rates in the directive feedback phases than in the basic feedback phases.