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J Appl Psychol. 2004 Oct;89(5):809-21.

Feedback specificity, learning opportunities, and learning.

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Department of Management, School of Business, University of Connecticut, Storrs 06269, USA.


Although increasing feedback specificity is generally beneficial for immediate performance, it can undermine certain aspects of the learning needed for later, more independent performance. The results of the present transfer experiment demonstrate that the effects of increasing feedback specificity on learning depended on what was to be learned, and these effects were partially mediated through the opportunities to learn how to respond to different task conditions during practice. More specific feedback was beneficial for learning how to respond to good performance and detrimental for learning how to respond to poor performance. The former relationship was partially mediated by feedback specificity's effect on learning opportunities during practice. The results have implications for designing feedback interventions and training to maximize the learning of various aspects of a task.

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