It's Not All Fun and Games: Feedback, Task Motivation, and Effort

32 Pages Posted: 27 Nov 2017

See all articles by Sheheryar Banuri

Sheheryar Banuri

University of East Anglia (UEA) - School of Economic and Social Studies; University of East Anglia (UEA) - Centre for Behavioural and Experimental Social Science (CBESS)

Katarína Danková

University of East Anglia (UEA)

Philip Keefer

Inter-American Development Bank

Date Written: November 21, 2017

Abstract

Performance feedback is a pervasive element of education, management, marketing, and the entire gaming industry. Prior research on feedback focuses on what information individuals receive, and how frequently. The gaming industry, though, is built upon the premise that how feedback is delivered matters and, in particular, that “context” – narrative and story – are key. However, even as organizations increasingly adopt gaming elements into their feedback systems, prior research offers little guidance about whether standard performance feedback, combined with gaming elements, yields greater effort. We report the results of experiments that identify the impact of feedback through gamification, through a novel experimental design that introduces narratives into the task. Compared to standard performance feedback, gamification significantly increases effort in a “real effort” task. However, consistent with past research showing that intrinsic and extrinsic incentives interact, gamification has a positive impact on effort when extrinsic incentives are low, but no impact when they are high. The introduction of narrative – storyline development – induces the greatest effort, even compared to Leaderboards, a gaming element that often features in performance feedback systems.

Keywords: intrinsic motivation, extrinsic motivation, performance, feedback, gamification, effort

JEL Classification: J24, M12, C91

Suggested Citation

Banuri, Sheheryar and Danková, Katarína and Keefer, Philip, It's Not All Fun and Games: Feedback, Task Motivation, and Effort (November 21, 2017). Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=3075462 or http://dx.doi.org/10.2139/ssrn.3075462

Sheheryar Banuri (Contact Author)

University of East Anglia (UEA) - School of Economic and Social Studies ( email )

Norwich, Norfolk NR4 7TJ
United Kingdom
+441603591246 (Phone)

HOME PAGE: http://https://www.uea.ac.uk/economics/people/profile/s-banuri

University of East Anglia (UEA) - Centre for Behavioural and Experimental Social Science (CBESS) ( email )

United Kingdom
+441603591246 (Phone)

Katarína Danková

University of East Anglia (UEA) ( email )

Norwich Research Park
Norwich, Norfolk NR4 7TJ
United Kingdom

Philip Keefer

Inter-American Development Bank ( email )

1300 New York Ave., NW
Washington, DC 20577
United States
202-623-1961 (Phone)

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