Association for Behavior Analysis International

The Association for Behavior Analysis International® (ABAI) is a nonprofit membership organization with the mission to contribute to the well-being of society by developing, enhancing, and supporting the growth and vitality of the science of behavior analysis through research, education, and practice.


44th Annual Convention; San Diego, CA; 2018

Event Details

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Paper Session #414
An Overview of Social Comparison Feedback: Conceptual Foundations and Recent Results
Monday, May 28, 2018
9:00 AM–9:50 AM
Marriott Marquis, Marina Ballroom F
Area: OBM
Instruction Level: Intermediate
Chair: Yngvi F. Einarsson (Western Michigan University)
Social Comparison Feedback: Conceptual and Component Analyses
Domain: Applied Research
YNGVI F. EINARSSON (Western Michigan University), Alyce M. Dickinson (Western Michigan University)
Abstract: “Social comparison feedback” has been broadly defined as a display of an individual’s or group’s performance in comparison to the performance of other individuals or groups. This paper will specifically examine one type of social comparison feedback, the graphic display of an individual’s performance along with the individual performance of peers. Previously, this feedback procedure has also been called public feedback, public individualized feedback, normative feedback, and public normative feedback. Under various labels, social comparison feedback has been used in Organizational Behavior Management interventions for over 45 years to improve performance in multiple settings. A review of the conceptual analyses of social comparison feedback will be provided, comparing and contrasting the unique components of social comparison feedback with other feedback applications and goal-setting. Despite the use of social comparison feedback over the years, studies examining its relative effectiveness in comparison to other feedback applications are rare. The potential limitations of the analyses will be addressed.
The Effects of Social Comparison Feedback Under Hourly Pay and Incentive Pay: A Series of Studies
Domain: Applied Research
JACOB SCHIPPER (Western Michigan University), Yngvi F. Einarsson (Western Michigan University), Alyce M. Dickinson (Western Michigan University)
Abstract: Structural reviews of feedback, such as Balcazar et al. (1985-1986) and Alvero et al. (2001), have been helpful in identifying some of the important dimensions of feedback applications and have helped guide researchers and practitioners. However, by aggregating feedback dimensions from different studies into the same feedback categories, the structural reviews may end up attributing positive effects to the feedback dimension, although the actual effects may have been due to other variables. Ultimately, only systematic experimental comparisons can determine the relative effectiveness of various feedback dimensions. The main purpose of a recent series of experimental laboratory studies was to examine and systematically compare the effects of graphic social comparison feedback with other feedback applications and goal-setting under hourly pay and piece-rate incentive pay conditions. The results of these studies have important practical implications for organizations, as performance differences between feedback applications significantly differed in meaningful ways. Then, although social comparison feedback may outperform other feedback applications, legitimate concerns can be raised about the potential aversiveness and risks when using social comparison feedback in organizations.



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