Project Details


The specific aims of the three proposed studies
focus on developing and testing models of the impact of evaluative feedback
on perceptions of the evaluator, self-perceptions and motivation. This
research tests some of the main assumptions underlying theoretical
perspectives on self-affirmation and self-enhancement, and is relevant to
practical issues such as the role of feedback in superior-subordinate
relationships in work and at school. Furthermore, by identifying how
people cope with feeling threatened by unfavorable evaluations, these
studies will address an aspect of mental health relevant to the everyday
experiences of people in a wide array of personal and professional
settings. Three experiments are proposed, all of which involve a confederate teacher
interacting with students. The main manipulations involve the teacher's
evaluation of students' performance on an anagrams test. The primary
predictions are that students will find unfavorable evaluations much more
threatening than favorable evaluations and that they will react to this
threat by enhancing their global self-esteem, diminishing their perception
of how much they are threatened, and possibly by directly eliminating the
threat ("proving" themselves on another task). The broad, long-term objectives of this research involve understanding the
influence of interpersonal performance evaluations on self-concept,
motivation and behavior. It should also provide new insights into the
nature of self-enhancing responses to various types of threatening feedback
and the behavioral implications of those responses. Consequently, this
research may genuinely contribute to understanding interpersonal influence
on self-concept and motivation in contexts such as the classroom, the
workplace, and the home.
Effective start/end date8/1/907/31/92


  • National Institutes of Health: $40,957.00


  • Medicine(all)

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