Effect of Message Framing on Reactions to Feedback Messages, Moderated by Regulatory Focus

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Virginia Tech

This study sought to better understand the impact of feedback on performance by examining how regulatory focus and message framing potentially interact to influence recipient's attitudes towards and recall of performance feedback recommendations. Participants were 221 undergraduates. Participant's chronic regulatory focus orientation was measured in phase 1. In phase 2, regulatory focus orientation was manipulated prior having participants complete a puzzle task. After completing the task, they were given performance feedback recommendations that were framed to highlight either promotion or prevention concerns. Their attitudes towards and recall of the recommendations they received were then measured. Though not all of the predictions of the study were supported, results indicated a significant three-way interaction between chronic promotion, the manipulation of regulatory focus, and the framing of the performance feedback recommendations that qualified the relationship between chronic promotion and attitudes. This finding supports the notion that a better understanding of how feedback impacts subsequent performance is possible by studying the interaction between regulatory focus and message framing. Implications and recommendations for future research are discussed.

Message, Self Regulatory Focus, Performance Feedback, Feedback