Too much feedback can be a bad thing

byKaj_Sotala10y11th Apr 200913 comments


Didn't have the time to read the article itself, but based on the abstract, this certainly sounds relevant for LW:

Recent advances in information technology make it possible for decision makers to track information in real-time and obtain frequent feedback on their decisions. From a normative sense, an increase in the frequency of feedback and the ability to make changes should lead to enhanced performance as decision makers are able to respond more quickly to changes in the environment and see the consequences of their actions. At the same time, there is reason to believe that more frequent feedback can sometimes lead to declines in performance. Across four inventory management experiments, we find that in environments characterized by random noise more frequent feedback on previous decisions leads to declines in performance. Receiving more frequent feedback leads to excessive focus on and more systematic processing of more recent data as well as a failure to adequately compare information across multiple time periods.

Hat tip to the BPS Resarch Digest.

ETA: Some other relevant studies from the same site, don't remember which ones have been covered here already:

Threat of terrorism boosts people's self-esteem

The "too much choice" problem isn't as straightforward as you'd think

Forget everything you thought you knew about Phineas Gage, Kitty Genovese, Little Albert, and other classic psychological tales