Please use this identifier to cite or link to this item: http://hdl.handle.net/10419/189825
Authors: 
Fischer, Mira
Wagner, Valentin
Year of Publication: 
2018
Series/Report no.: 
WZB Discussion Paper SP II 2018-206
Abstract: 
Information about past performance has been found to sometimes improve and sometimes worsen subsequent performance. Two factors may help to explain this puzzle: which aspect of one's past performance the information refers to and when it is revealed. In a field experiment in secondary schools, students received information about their absolute rank in the last math exam (level feedback), their change in ranks between the second-last and the last math exam (change feedback), or no feedback. Feedback was given either 1-3 days (early) or immediately (late) before the final math exam of the semester. Both level feedback and change feedback significantly improve students' grades in the final exam when given early and tend to worsen them when given late. The largest effects are found for negative change feedback and are concentrated on male students, who adjust their ability beliefs downwards in response to feedback.
Subjects: 
timing of feedback
change and level feedback
motivation
field experiment
JEL: 
I21
M54
D91
Document Type: 
Working Paper
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