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Constructivist Coding: Learning from Selective Feedback
Uppsala University, Disciplinary Domain of Humanities and Social Sciences, Faculty of Social Sciences, Department of Psychology.
Uppsala University, Disciplinary Domain of Humanities and Social Sciences, Faculty of Social Sciences, Department of Psychology.
Uppsala University, Disciplinary Domain of Humanities and Social Sciences, Faculty of Social Sciences, Department of Psychology.
Uppsala University, Disciplinary Domain of Humanities and Social Sciences, Faculty of Social Sciences, Department of Psychology.
2007 (English)In: Psychological Science, ISSN 0956-7976, E-ISSN 1467-9280, Vol. 18, no 2, 105-110 p.Article in journal (Refereed) Published
Abstract [en]

Although much learning in real-life environments relies on highly selective feedback about outcomes, virtually all cognitive models of learning, judgment, and categorization assume complete and representative feedback. We investigated empirically the effect of selective feedback on decision making and how people code experience with selective feedback. The results showed that, in contrast to a commonly raised concern, performance was not impaired following learning with selective and biased feedback. Furthermore, even in a simple decision task, the experience that people acquired was not a mere recording of the observed outcomes, but rather a reconstruction from general task knowledge.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
2007. Vol. 18, no 2, 105-110 p.
National Category
Psychology
Research subject
Psychology
Identifiers
URN: urn:nbn:se:uu:diva-87226DOI: 10.1111/j.1467-9280.2007.01856.xISI: 000245157900003OAI: oai:DiVA.org:uu-87226DiVA: diva2:25574
Available from: 2008-09-30 Created: 2008-09-30 Last updated: 2017-12-13Bibliographically approved
In thesis
1. Learning With Selective Feedback: Effects on Performance and Coding of Unknown Outcomes
Open this publication in new window or tab >>Learning With Selective Feedback: Effects on Performance and Coding of Unknown Outcomes
2009 (English)Doctoral thesis, comprehensive summary (Other academic)
Abstract [en]

In experiential learning, one important source of information is the feedback that people receive on the outcomes of their decisions. Typically, however, feedback is systematically absent for many decisions and the actual experience of people may therefore be highly selective. It is thus surprising that research on the cognitive processes involved in human judgement and categorisation has not addressed the effects of learning with selective feedback. In this thesis, three studies are presented in which the effects of learning with systematically selective feedback were investigated.

The hypothesis of constructivist coding was introduced in Study I, suggesting a cognitive mechanism for the processing of selective information. In the absence of external feedback people infer the most likely outcome, and then code this inference into memory as “internal feedback”. This internally generated feedback is stored and processed in the same manner as externally presented feedback and is used as a basis for beliefs about the characteristics of the environment. Results from Studies I, II, and III demonstrated support for constructivist coding under varied learning conditions.

Study III investigated the effects on the beliefs of participants when they learn from feedback received only for positive decisions. Results indicated that the participants’ beliefs well reflected their actual, however selective, experience. When participants aimed to achieve good immediate outcomes, their experience became restrictive and biased, resulting in biased beliefs. In contrast, when the focus of participants was on long-term learning, their decisions produced a more representative experience and their beliefs came to reflect the actual structure of the environment. Biased beliefs were thus demonstrated to result from a sensitivity of participants to selectively available information.

The present findings offer an understanding of the cognitive processes involved in learning from selectively absent feedback. The conclusions propose a sensitivity of participants to objectively experienced information in the forming of knowledge and beliefs. Further, when external information is absent, participants appear to rely on their knowledge and expectations to infer and code the most likely outcome, and use these stored inferences to form a coherent representation of the environment.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
Uppsala: Acta Universitatis Upsaliensis, 2009. 86 p.
Series
Digital Comprehensive Summaries of Uppsala Dissertations from the Faculty of Social Sciences, ISSN 1652-9030 ; 51
National Category
Psychology (excluding Applied Psychology)
Research subject
Psychology
Identifiers
urn:nbn:se:uu:diva-106880 (URN)978-91-554-7568-0 (ISBN)
Public defence
2009-09-18, Auditoriet, Gustavianum, Akademigatan 73, Uppsala, 13:00 (English)
Opponent
Supervisors
Available from: 2009-08-25 Created: 2009-07-08 Last updated: 2009-08-25Bibliographically approved

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