Ratee Reactions: Negative Feedback as a Motivating Source
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The majority of empirical research on responses to negative feedback has focused on affective responses to negative feedback, which have largely been adverse. The purpose of this study was to examine how negative feedback enhances motivation. A key feature of this study is the conceptualization of motivation using Edward Deci and Richard Ryan’s self-determination theory. Self-determination theory proposes a continuum of motivation, based on one’s regulation, or contingency for performance. Goal orientation and social dominance orientation are proposed as two moderators of the negative feedback-regulation relationship. Two studies were conducted to examine the relationship between negative feedback and regulation. Study 1 used a survey-based instrument with a work sample after a performance appraisal was conducted (N = 221), and Study 2 took place in a psychology statistics undergraduate course (N = 156). Negative feedback yielded a decrease in obligated motivation in Study 1. Mastery prove goal orientation and performance prove goal orientation were consistent significant moderators of the negative feedback-regulation relationship, such that individuals with high levels of Mastery prove goal orientation increased their autonomous regulation at higher levels of negative feedback, while individuals with high levels of performance prove goal orientation decreased their autonomous regulation at higher levels of negative feedback. Implications for feedback delivery are discussed. This study contributes to the literature by being the first to examine the effects of negative feedback on all forms of regulation, and is the first to use goal orientation and social dominance orientation as moderators of the negative feedback – regulation relationship. Further, this study demonstrated the positive motivational effects of giving positive feedback as well as setting mastery prove based goals.
Kabins, Adam Howard (2010). Ratee Reactions: Negative Feedback as a Motivating Source. Master's thesis, Texas A&M University. Available electronically from