When humans and computers induce social stress through negative feedback: Effects on performance and subjective state

Thuillard, S.; Adams, M.; Jelmini, G.; Schmutz, S.; Sonderegger, A.; Sauer, J. (2022). When humans and computers induce social stress through negative feedback: Effects on performance and subjective state Computers in Human Behavior, 133, p. 107270. Elsevier 10.1016/j.chb.2022.107270

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People increasingly work with autonomous systems, which progressively take over functions previously performed exclusively by humans. This may lead to situations in which automated agents give negative performance feedback, which represents an important work-related social stressor. Little is known about how negative feedback provided by computers (as opposed to humans) affects human performance and subjective state. A first experiment (N = 60) focused on the influence of human feedback on performance. After participants had performed a cognitive task, they received a manipulated performance feedback (either positive or negative) from a human (comparing to a control with no feedback) and subsequent performance on several cognitive tasks and the participants' subjective state was measured. The results showed that while negative feedback had a negative influence on several subjective state measures, performance remained unimpaired. In a second experiment (N = 89), participants received manipulated negative feedback by a human or by a computer (or no feedback at all) after having completed an ability test. Subsequent performance was measured on attention tasks and creativity tasks and participants' subjective state was assessed. Although participants felt stressed by both negative computer and human feedback, subsequent performance was again not impaired. However, computer feedback was rated as being less fair than human feedback. Overall, our findings show that there are costs of protecting one's performance against negative feedback and they call for caution regarding the use of negative feedback by both human and automated agents in work settings.

Item Type:

Journal Article (Original Article)

Division/Institute:

Business School > Institute for New Work
Business School > Institute for New Work > New Forms of Work and Organisation
Business School

Name:

Thuillard, S.;
Adams, M.;
Jelmini, G.;
Schmutz, S.;
Sonderegger, A. and
Sauer, J.

Subjects:

B Philosophy. Psychology. Religion > BF Psychology
Q Science > QA Mathematics > QA75 Electronic computers. Computer science

ISSN:

0747-5632

Publisher:

Elsevier

Submitter:

Andreas Sonderegger

Date Deposited:

27 Apr 2022 11:34

Last Modified:

27 Apr 2022 11:34

Publisher DOI:

10.1016/j.chb.2022.107270

Uncontrolled Keywords:

Social stress Negative feedback Performance Computer feedback Automation Interpersonal fairness

ARBOR DOI:

10.24451/arbor.16807

URI:

https://arbor.bfh.ch/id/eprint/16807

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