Impact of positive and negative feedback based on personality and intellectual assessment

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Abstract

Using a Barnum-effect paradigm, 40 males and 40 females were randomly assigned to take either a test of personality or intellectual functioning and then were delivered either positively or negatively worded feedback purportedly based on the test results. Three dependent measures of the impact of the feedback were employed: (a) self-reported acceptance, (b) desire for further feedback, and (c) recall of feedback. Positive feedback was more accepted than the negative feedback; females as compared to males evidenced less desire for further feedback after receiving negative feedback, while the reverse was true after receiving positive feedback. Overall, the personality feedback as compared to intellectual feedback generated a stronger impact. An explanation for this latter finding is offered, and implications for the clinical setting are discussed. (1 ref) (PsycINFO Database Record (c) 2006 APA, all rights reserved)

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