Toward a cohesive psychological science of effective feedback


Empirical research on effective assessment feedback often falls short in demonstrating not just what works, but how and why. In this introduction to the special issue, ‘Psychological Perspectives on the Effects and Effectiveness of Assessment Feedback,’ we first synthesize the recommendations from review papers on the topic of feedback published since 2010. In multiple respects this synthesis points to a clear wish among feedback researchers: for feedback research to become more scientific. Here we endorse that view, and propose a framework of research questions that a psychological science of feedback might seek to answer. Yet we—and the authors of the diverse papers in this special issue—also illustrate a wealth of scientific research and methods, and rigorous psychological theory, that already exist to inform understanding of effective feedback. One barrier to scientific progress is that this research and theory is heavily fragmented across disciplinary ‘silos’. The papers in this special issue, which represent disparate traditions of psychological research, provide complementary insights into the problems that rigorous feedback research must surmount. We argue that a cohesive psychological science of feedback requires better dialogue between the diverse subfields, and greater use of psychological methods, measures, and theories for informing evidence-based practice.

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Divisions: College of Health & Life Sciences > School of Psychology
College of Health & Life Sciences
Additional Information: Copyright © 2023 The Author(s). Published with license by Taylor & Francis Group, LLC. This is an Open Access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivatives License (, which permits non-commercial re-use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited, and is not altered, transformed, or built upon in any way. The terms on which this article has been published allow the posting of the Accepted Manuscript in a repository by the author(s) or with their consent.
Publication ISSN: 1532-6985
Last Modified: 13 Jun 2024 07:34
Date Deposited: 07 Jul 2023 15:27
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Related URLs: https://www.tan ... 20.2023.2224444 (Publisher URL)
http://www.scop ... tnerID=8YFLogxK (Scopus URL)
PURE Output Type: Article
Published Date: 2023-07-05
Accepted Date: 2023-06-08
Authors: Winstone, Naomi E.
Nash, Robert A. (ORCID Profile 0000-0002-2284-2001)

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