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Project Information

PSYCHOSOCIAL RESOURCES AND THE LANGUAGE OF INTERRACIAL FEEDBACK

Agency:
NSF

National Science Foundation

Project Number:
1228693
Contact PI / Project Leader:
HARBER, KENT
Awardee Organization:
RUTGERS THE STATE UNIV OF NJ NEWARK

Description

Abstract Text:
Feedback is one of the most potent instruments of instruction; it informs students where to focus their efforts, helps them gauge their progress, challenges them to develop their skills, and confirms their abilities when they succeed. However, the feedback needs to be accurate and valid for those benefits to occur. Research by Kent Harber (Rutgers University Newark) and others suggest that this may not be the case for minority learners. There is a "positive feedback bias" in the tendency of European-American (White) individuals to provide more praise and less criticism to African American, Latino, and other minority learners than to White learners for work of equal merit. The positive feedback bias appears to be robust and pervasive. It is communicated both in writing and in direct, face-to-face, conversations; it has been displayed by college students, teacher trainees, and public school teachers; and it has been demonstrated in the American West Coast, the Midwest, and the East Coast. The potential costs of such a bias are striking. If feedback is less critical when directed at minorities, it can mislead effort, undermine motivation, and erode trust. If minority students are chronically receiving positively biased feedback, then their ability to advance as learners may be undercut. Perhaps as important, their faith in praise that they have genuinely earned may be compromised.

This line of research will assess how the positive feedback bias, and the motives from which it arises, influence the quality of information that Whites supply to minorities. It specifically focuses on the nature of inter-racial communication, the language used to provide functional feedback, and the reasons why the language used may differ as a function of the interracial context of the exchange. By studying how positive feedback is expressed in open-ended communication, this project may reveal how the positive feedback bias affects minority students' learning and different potential remedies for the bias.
Project Terms:
Affect; African American; American; caucasian American; Communication; cost; Employee Strikes; European; Feedback; Individual; Instruction; instrument; Language; Latino; Learning; Minority; Motivation; Nature; Research; School Teachers; skills; Students; teacher; Trust; Universities; university student; Work; Writing

Details

Contact PI / Project Leader Information:
Name:  HARBER, KENT
Other PI Information:
Not Applicable
Awardee Organization:
Name:  RUTGERS THE STATE UNIV OF NJ NEWARK
City:  NEWARK    
Country:  UNITED STATES
Congressional District:
State Code:  NJ
District:  10
Other Information:
Fiscal Year: 2012
Award Notice Date:
DUNS Number: 130029205
Project Start Date: 01-Sep-2012
Budget Start Date:
CFDA Code: 47.075
Project End Date: 31-Aug-2014
Budget End Date:
Agency: ?

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National Science Foundation
Project Funding Information for 2012:
Year Agency

Agency: The entity responsible for the administering of a research grant, project, or contract. This may represent a federal department, agency, or sub-agency (institute or center). Details on agencies in Federal RePORTER can be found in the FAQ page.

FY Total Cost
2012 NSF

National Science Foundation

$249,933

Results

i

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