Students' R]eactions to Teachers' E]valuations: The Unique Impact of Negative Feedback

Lerita M. Coleman, Lee Jussim, Jack Abraham

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

28 Scopus citations


This study attempts to identify some of the processes mediating self‐fulfilling prophecies in the classroom. Specifically, we hypothesized that negative feedback conveyed by teachers would influence students' p]erceptions of how the teacher viewed their success/failure, effort, ability and task difficulty more than positive feedback. In response to college students' s]core on an anagrams test, a (confederate) teacher expressed either positive, negative or no evaluative feedback. Questionnaires assessed students' s]elf‐perceptions and perceptions of the teacher's evaluations of them. Consistent with our hypotheses, negative feedback was seen as a more credible indicator of the teacher's evaluation than positive feedback. Furthermore, negative feedback led students to believe that the teacher held an extremely unfavorable but inaccurate impression of their effort and ability and that the teacher underestimated the difficulty of the task. There were few differences between the effects of positive feedback and no feedback, and there were no significant effects on self‐perceptions. These findings suggest new insights into negativity effects in evaluations and into the mechanisms underlying self‐fulfilling prophecies.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1051-1070
Number of pages20
JournalJournal of Applied Social Psychology
Issue number12
StatePublished - Dec 1987

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Social Psychology


Dive into the research topics of 'Students' R]eactions to Teachers' E]valuations: The Unique Impact of Negative Feedback'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this