Date of Award

8-2007

Degree Name

Master of Arts

Department

Psychology

First Advisor

Dr. Alyce Dickinson

Second Advisor

Dr. Heather McGee

Third Advisor

Dr. John Austin

Access Setting

Masters Thesis-Campus Only

Abstract

This study examined whether social comparison feedback would facilitate performance when individuals were receiving individual feedback and being paid monetary incentives. The design was a non-concurrent multiple baseline across participants design with a reversal. Participants were eight college students who performed a computerized data entry task that simulated the job of a bank proof operator. The main dependent variable was the number of correctly entered checks. All eight participants meaningfully increased their performance when social comparison feedback was added to individual feedback. During the reversal phase, three decreased their performance, four maintained their performance and one increased her performance. There differences may have been due to self goal-setting strategies. The results suggests that (a) social comparison feedback enhances the effects of individual feedback even when individuals are being paid incentives and (b) once social comparison feedback is given, it cannot be truly withidrawn.

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