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ERIC Number: EJ808734
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2008-Sep
Pages: 15
Abstractor: As Provided
ISSN: ISSN-0749-5978
Use of Absolute and Comparative Performance Feedback in Absolute and Comparative Judgments and Decisions
Moore, Don A.; Klein, William M. P.
Organizational Behavior and Human Decision Processes, v107 n1 p60-74 Sep 2008
Which matters more--beliefs about absolute ability or ability relative to others? This study set out to compare the effects of such beliefs on satisfaction with performance, self-evaluations, and bets on future performance. In Experiment 1, undergraduate participants were told they had answered 20% correct, 80% correct, or were not given their scores on a practice test. Orthogonal to this manipulation, participants learned that their performance placed them in the 23rd percentile or 77th percentile, or they did not receive comparative feedback. Participants were then given a chance to place bets on two games--one in which they needed to get more than 50% right to double their money (absolute bet), and one in which they needed to beat more than 50% of other test-takers (comparative bet). Absolute feedback influenced comparative betting, particularly when no comparative feedback was available. Comparative feedback exerted weaker and inconsistent effects on absolute bets. Absolute feedback also had stronger (and more consistent) effects on satisfaction with performance and state self-esteem. Experiment 2 replicated these effects in a different university sample, and demonstrated that the effects emerge even when bets are placed "after" participants rate their satisfaction with their performance (although these ratings do not mediate the effect of feedback on bets). These findings suggest that information about one's absolute standing on a dimension may be more influential than information about comparative standing, partially supporting a key tenet of Festinger's [Festinger, L. (1954). A theory of social comparison processes. "Human Relations, 7", 117-140.] theory of social comparison. (Contains 2 tables.)
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Publication Type: Journal Articles; Reports - Research
Education Level: Higher Education
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A