Withholding negative feedback: is it about protecting the self or protecting others?

Jeffries, Carla H. and Hornsey, Matthew J. (2012) Withholding negative feedback: is it about protecting the self or protecting others? British Journal of Social Psychology, 51 (4). pp. 772-780. ISSN 0144-6665


The reluctance to deliver negative feedback to someone’s face is widely documented. This research disentangles the extent to which this reluctance is motivated by a desire to protect the self as opposed to others. Participants assessed an essay written by someone with high, medium, or low self-esteem. Assessment of the essay was most positive when the feedback was to be provided face-to-face, less positive when delivered anonymously, and least positive when it was not required to be delivered at all. This effect only emerged among participants low in self-liking (but was unrelated to self competency). The self-esteem of the essay writer had no effect on evaluations. The data lend support for a self-protection motive and modest support for an other-protection motive.

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Item Type: Article (Commonwealth Reporting Category C)
Refereed: Yes
Item Status: Live Archive
Additional Information: Permanent restricted access to published version due to publisher copyright policy.
Faculty/School / Institute/Centre: Historic - Faculty of Sciences - Department of Psychology
Date Deposited: 08 Mar 2013 08:25
Last Modified: 10 Oct 2014 04:42
Uncontrolled Keywords: negative feedback, self-esteem
Fields of Research : 17 Psychology and Cognitive Sciences > 1701 Psychology > 170113 Social and Community Psychology
Socio-Economic Objective: C Society > 92 Health > 9299 Other Health > 929999 Health not elsewhere classified
Identification Number or DOI: 10.1111/j.2044-8309.2012.02098.x
URI: http://eprints.usq.edu.au/id/eprint/23149

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