Research: Women respond to feedback more than men

Congratulations to Prof. Anna Lovasz, whose article “Gender differences in the effect of subjective feedback in an online game,” was just published by the Journal of Behavioral and Experimental Economics.  

Prof. Lovasz and her co-authors used an online game with randomized messages to test whether responses to encouragement (You can do it!) and praise (Good job!) differ by the gender of the player. They found that women were more responsive to such feedback. When the feedback took the form of encouragement, women played more games and achieved higher scores, whereas when they received praise, they achieved lower scores. Among men, the feedback had less effect, although men with lower game-playing confidence responded negatively to encouragement. 
“These results don’t mean that men and women should be given different feedback based on their gender,” explained Dr. Lovasz. “Rather, more personalized feedback based on individual needs could help decrease existing gender gaps. However, providing personal attention is time-consuming and costly. This study supports investments in teachers’ pay and new technologies that allow teachers the time to focus on students’ individual and social-emotional needs.”