The Effect of Social Comparison Feedback on Task Completion in a Human-Service Setting
Phillabaum, Curtis Thomas
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There has been much debate over the most successful types of feedback, but little research has examined the use of social comparison feedback. The purpose of the present study was to assess the effects of social comparison feedback on the percentage of end-of-shift cleaning tasks completed by three behavior technicians identified as exhibiting lower performance. The social comparison feedback consisted of a bar graph depicting the percentage of tasks completed by the individual participant in relation to two behavior technicians identified as high performers. Following the client shift, the researcher shared the graph and delivered vocal social comparison feedback during an individual meeting with each participant. All 11 cleaning tasks were being performed below the mastery criterion, but performances exceeded the criterion on seven of 11 tasks with the addition of social comparison feedback. Completion of each task increased between 55% and 97%. Overall, the average percentage of tasks completed by all three participants was 6% in baseline and 83% during intervention. The results suggest social comparison enhanced the performance of participants and that the intervention is a cost-effective strategy for increasing cleaning behaviors.