How a reflection intervention improves the effect of learning goals on performance outcomes in a complex decision-making task

Miles M. Yang, Yucheng Zhang, Feifei Yang

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

Abstract

We aim to advance the learning goal literature by examining the contingent effect of a reflection intervention on the relationship between learning goals and performance in a complex decision-making task. Data were obtained from a laboratory experiment with a microworld simulation as the experimental task. Participants were randomly allocated to one of the four conditions in a 2 × 2 (reflection intervention: yes vs. no; learning goals: easier vs. more challenging) between-subjects design (N = 140). Our findings suggest that both learning goals and reflection interventions are effective learning mechanisms in complex tasks. Reflection interventions strengthen the positive performance effect of learning goals. Specifically, the combination of a reflection intervention and more challenging learning goals leads to the highest performance. In the current dynamic business environment, effectively solving complex decision-making tasks is an enduring challenge. By integrating the reflection literature with goal-setting theory, we provide evidence of the joint effect of a reflection intervention and learning goals on subsequent task performance. Our findings help scholars and practitioners to design effective learning interventions to solve complex decision-making tasks. Our study is the first to investigate the joint effect of a reflection intervention (particularly, coached feedback reflection) and learning goals on task performance. Additionally, we are among the first to examine the combined use of learning goals and performance goals in a complex decision-making task.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)579–593
Number of pages15
JournalJournal of Business and Psychology
Volume33
Issue number5
Early online dateAug 2017
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - Oct 2018

Keywords

  • Reflection intervention
  • Learning goals
  • Complex task
  • Decision making
  • Performance

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