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Keywords:

  • decision affect theory;
  • immediate feedback;
  • judgement;
  • overconfidence;
  • performance;
  • temporal discounting

Abstract

We investigated the role of anticipation of feedback in performance and estimation about own performance. We submitted 155 participants to a test of verbal aptitude, and we requested them to give estimations of their own performance and the performance of other participants. There were two treatments: immediate feedback and delayed feedback. Participants in the immediate-feedback group were informed that they would receive feedback on their performance immediately after finishing the test, whereas participants in the delayed-feedback group were informed that they would receive feedback a week after taking the test. The immediate-feedback group performed better than the delayed-feedback group. Furthermore, the former underestimated their own performance. On the other hand, participants on the delayed-feedback group made unbiased estimations. We present a mathematical model based on construal-level theory, decision affect theory, temporal discounting, and Moore and Healy's model of overestimation. The model suggests that the source of differences in performance and in estimations of own performance is a construal of the feedback situation that modifies the expected utility of the task.