The informational value of evaluative behavior: Influences of praise and blame on perceptions of ability

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Abstract

Investigated the degree to which praise and criticism provide information about other's perceptions of an acting person's ability. Six experiments employed a total of 476 students aged 8-19 yrs, 114 college students, and 90 adults aged 20-60 yrs. Ss were given descriptions of 2 students who had obtained identical results at a task of a particular difficulty level. One of the students received neutral feedback; the other was praised for success or criticized for failure. Results indicate that (a) praise after success and neutral feedback after failure lead to the perception that the acting person's ability is viewed as low, and (b) neutral feedback after success and criticism after failure lead to the perception that the acting person's ability is viewed as high. These data, which are typical for adult Ss, are reversed partially with children. (10 ref) (PsycINFO Database Record (c) 2006 APA, all rights reserved)

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