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Repeated Task Performance and Numeric Outcome Feedback in a Complex Decision Environment: Working Paper Series--10-09

Buchheit, Steve and Dalton, Derek and Downen, Tom and Pippin, Sonja (2010) Repeated Task Performance and Numeric Outcome Feedback in a Complex Decision Environment: Working Paper Series--10-09. Working Paper. NAU W.A. Franke College of Business.


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Many business scenarios involve similar decisions over repeated iterations. Often, decision-makers are provided with numeric feedback between iterations. We examine the effect of numeric outcome feedback in a complex accounting task. Prior psychology research indicates that outcome feedback is largely ineffective (or even counter-effective) at improving performance in complex tasks (see Balzer et al., 1989; Todd and Hammond, 1965; Hammond and Summers, 1972; Hammond et al., 1973). However, Libby (1981) speculates that these results may be caused by the tendency of psychology research to use abstract tasks with no real-life application, thus making the learning process more difficult. Consistent with this speculation, we find that OFB can, in fact, improve performance in a complex numeric-feedback task which is placed in a more-meaningful learning environment. We find that repetition (without OFB) does not improve performance in this environment. We discuss the importance of OFB, rather than the intuitively appealing step-by-step feedback (Bonner and Walker 1994), in a world characterized by time constraints and easy information access.

Item Type: Monograph (Working Paper)
Publisher’s Statement: Copyright, where appropriate, is held by the author.
ID number or DOI: 10-09
Keywords: Working paper, decision making, numeric feedback, outcome feedback, repeated tasks
Subjects: H Social Sciences > HF Commerce
NAU Depositing Author Academic Status: Faculty/Staff
Department/Unit: The W.A. Franke College of Business
Date Deposited: 17 Oct 2015 20:19
URI: http://openknowledge.nau.edu/id/eprint/1494

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