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The Psychology of Feedback

Posted by: Asa Don Brown on October 13, 2011 12:29 pm

The challenge of providing feedback is knowing exactly what to say and how to say it. Constructive feedback can be either positive or negative.  Either way, constructive feedback should always be positively influential even if the message is critical. 

When a parent or teacher offers feedback, it should always offer a message of hope, inspiration, and positive motivation.   A majority of society has probably experienced negative criticism without a positive conclusion. 

Why offer something positive? When an individual receives a negative critique it is frequently received from a judgmental perspective.  Youth especially receive constructive feedback as a putdown, rather than as a motivational source.  Therefore, it is important that parents and teachers reassure the child of their goodness, potential, favorability, and capability. 

Parents and teachers should aim to provide feedback that is straightforward, direct, to the point, and constructive in nature.  Feedback should not be destructive.  It should not have a tone of superiority or  condemnation. 

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