Differential affective reactions to negative and positive feedback, and the role of self‐esteem

Remus Ilies (Eli Broad College of Business and Graduate School of Management, Michigan State University, East Lansing, Michigan, USA)
Irene E. De Pater (University of Amsterdam, Amsterdam, The Netherlands)
Tim Judge (Department of Management, Warrington College of Business, University of Florida, Gainesville, Florida, USA)

Journal of Managerial Psychology

ISSN: 0268-3946

Publication date: 21 August 2007



The paper aims to examine, first, how performance feedback influences positive and negative affect within individuals across negative and positive feedback range, and secondly, whether self‐esteem moderates individuals' affective reactions to feedback.


A sample of 197 undergraduate students completed an 8‐trial experiment. For each trial, participants performed a task, received performance feedback, and were subsequently asked to report their affective state. Hierarchical linear modeling was used to test the hypothesized within‐ individual effects and the cross‐level moderating role of self‐esteem.


Performance feedback did influence both positive and negative affect within individuals and feedback indicating goal non‐attainment (i.e. negative feedback) increased negative affect more than it reduced positive affect. The data offered some support for the prediction with respect to the moderating role of self‐esteem derived from self‐enhancement theory.

Research limitations / implications

The laboratory design and student sample are limitations with the study. However, the nature of our research question justifies an initial examination in a controlled, laboratory setting. Our findings may stimulate researchers to further investigate the role of affect and emotions in behavioral self‐regulation.


This study furthers research on reactions to feedback by examining the feedback‐affect process within individuals across time. Multiple dimensions of affect were considered and positive and negative feedback continua were examined separately.



Remus Ilies, Irene E. De Pater and Tim Judge (2007) "Differential affective reactions to negative and positive feedback, and the role of self‐esteem", Journal of Managerial Psychology, Vol. 22 No. 6, pp. 590-609

Download as .RIS


: https://doi.org/10.1108/02683940710778459



Emerald Group Publishing Limited

Copyright © 2007, Emerald Group Publishing Limited

Please note you might not have access to this content

You may be able to access this content by login via Shibboleth, Open Athens or with your Emerald account.
If you would like to contact us about accessing this content, click the button and fill out the form.
To rent this content from Deepdyve, please click the button.