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Tell Me What I Did Wrong: Experts Seek and Respond to Negative Feedback

Stacey R. Finkelstein and Ayelet Fishbach
Journal of Consumer Research
Vol. 39, No. 1 (June 2012), pp. 22-38
Published by: Oxford University Press
DOI: 10.1086/661934
Stable URL: http://www.jstor.org/stable/10.1086/661934
Page Count: 17
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Tell Me What I Did Wrong: Experts Seek and Respond to Negative
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Abstract

A large proportion of marketing communication concerns feedback to consumers. This article explores what feedback people seek and respond to. We predict and find a shift from positive to negative feedback as people gain expertise. We document this shift in a variety of domains, including feedback on language acquisition, pursuit of environmental causes, and use of consumer products. Across these domains, novices sought and responded to positive feedback, and experts sought and responded to negative feedback. We examine a motivational account for the shift in feedback: positive feedback increased novices’ commitment, and negative feedback increased experts’ sense that they were making insufficient progress.

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