The Impact of Goals and Pay on Feedback-Seeking Behavior

Julie M. Slowiak, Ashley Nuetzman

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

4 Scopus citations


Purpose: In light of the increasing use of electronic feedback systems in organizational settings, this study contributes to feedback-seeking research to examine feedback-seeking behavior and task performance when outcome feedback is paired with and without an assigned goal, under hourly and performance-based pay.

Participants & Method: A total of 120 undergraduate students attended three 45-minute sessions and performed a data-entry task, during which they were able to solicit immediate insession feedback.

Results: Descriptive and visual analyses indicated that feedback seeking occurred frequently across experimental sessions and increased as the time to the end of the session decreased. These trends are discussed herein. Task performance was significantly higher for individuals who were paid incentives, and patterns in performance across sessions differed significantly between pay groups. Although the inclusion of an assigned performance goal did not significantly enhance performance or the frequency of feedback seeking, descriptive analyses revealed that both feedback seeking and task performance were higher for those who received an assigned goal.

Conclusions: Identifying the function of feedback-seeking behavior, as well as variables that may influence or interact with this behavior, may be useful when developing and implementing optimal and effective feedback systems.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)217-232
Number of pages16
JournalPsychological Record
Issue number2
StatePublished - May 30 2014


  • Assigned performance goals
  • Feedback-seeking behavior
  • Pay systems

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