Many studies showing a lack of benefit from feedback and some showing a lack of benefit from committing errors fail to ensure that the feedback is processed. When the correct answer is made available, though, and people appreciate that the answer is correct as well as why that answer is correct, they are able to integrate that information into memory and improve performance Anderson et al.
Furthermore, Metcalfe et al. They contrasted a condition in which people were given the feedback immediately upon error commission with one in which it was delayed by up to a week and they controlled for lag until test, which was one week from feedback in both conditions, so the amount of time until the test did not differ in the two conditions. In both the immediate and delayed feedback conditions, participants were required to attend to the feedback, insofar as they were instructed to type the answer into the computer. The study found that college students performed equally well in the immediate and delayed feedback conditions, whereas children in grades 3 to 5 did better when the feedback was delayed.
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Lab studies tended to show that delayed feedback was better, whereas classroom studies favored immediate feedback. They concluded, however, that the real difference between these studies was whether the learners paid attention to the feedback. Students in the classroom are highly engaged in knowing the answers to questions right after taking a test. They pay attention to the feedback when it is given immediately. However, their interest flags with a long delay, especially if the feedback is cursory. The provision of feedback can be, as it is in the Japanese classrooms, extensive and hence very helpful in allowing students to understand the underlying constructs and to generalize to new situations.
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Feedback provides an opportunity for exploring and deeply analyzing the principles underlying the problems, the answers, and the reasoning leading to the answers—be they right or wrong. It is like discovery-oriented approaches in that it requires the child to generate a relatively deep analysis of a phenomenon without being told how to do so. It is like didactic approaches in that it focuses the child's attention on the correct reasoning.
Thus, it combines some of the efficiency of didactic instruction with some of the motivating properties of discovery. Another fundamental question concerns whether the source of an error modulates its efficacy for learning.
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The literature indicates that although self-generating an error and being exposed to externally presented irrelevant information may seem similar on the surface, important differences may exist. However, when instead of having the participant generate an error, the experimenter presented an incorrect word during what would have been the generation period, memory for the correct answer was harmed. Furthermore, it was also harmful to restrict what the person had to generate as an error a constrained alternative.
A similar phenomenon has been observed with self-generated as compared to experimenter-presented mistaken items when people were in tip-of-the-tongues states. Determining how self-generated wrong answers differ from experimenter-presented wrong items may be important for understanding why error generation helps. It is possible that self-generated errors tap into the person's own semantic memory structure and thus can serve as mediators to help the person get to the correct answer. Such items may simply be distracting.
What happens if a person observes another person—say, a fellow student—make an error that is then followed by feedback? Does this exposure have the same beneficial effect as self-generating one's own error, or is it like being exposed to irrelevant experimenter-presented distractions?
This is an interesting question with practical implications, but it is an issue that research has not yet addressed. The critic may argue that perhaps the people in the experiments described above did not really believe in their responses: They were just generating guesses, not genuine errors. Perhaps there is no benefit to generating errors when people really endorse their errors and have strong beliefs that they are correct. The data show greater benefit when the errors were related to the target than when they were unrelated, which somewhat offsets this contention.
Even so, few classroom teachers would ask students to memorize lists of word pairs such as oscillate-settle or hillside-banker or similar items used in the experiments on error generation. Nevertheless, we may ask how much belief is enough to make a particular response a genuine error rather than just a guess.
A number of studies have investigated the correction of errors as a function of the individual's confidence in the error. Typically, a factual question is asked of the participant; the individual generates an answer and then rates his or her confidence that the error is correct. Next, feedback is given, in which the correct answer is provided. In contrast to the predictions of a variety of theories that suggest that responses in which one is highly confident should be particularly difficult to overwrite, the high-confidence errors are more likely to be corrected on the retest than are errors endorsed with lower confidence e.
This hypercorrection effect occurs both with immediate retest and when the retest is given at a considerable delay Butler et al. A strong degree of belief in the truth of one's errors makes them more, rather than less, susceptible to being correctable.
A number of associative theories of memory and of the relation of memory to confidence seem to indicate that the hypercorrection effect should not be found; indeed, perhaps even the reverse should be observed. Responses that are made with high confidence are those in which the person believes most and are thought to be the strongest in memory e. As such, they should be most easily accessible and most resistant to interference as well as the most difficult to overwrite or replace with a new response. Certainly, in all data presented to date on the hypercorrection effect, the correlation between confidence in one's first responses and the correctness of those responses is high: The responses in which people are highly confident are nearly always correct, indicating that in general people know what they do and don't know and that their high-confidence responses are strongly and readily retrieved from memory.
Most errors that people make are assigned low confidence and because they are weak, should be easy to overwrite with a new response. People make high-confidence errors only rarely. But if such a high-confidence response were in error, it too—like correct high-confidence responses—should be strong, entrenched, and difficult rather than easy to change.
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The consistent finding of a hypercorrection effect, whereby high-confidence errors are corrected more readily than low-confidence errors, flies in the face of traditional interference, response hierarchy, and associative theories. Two nonmutually exclusive factors are central to the hypercorrection phenomenon in young adults, though these are not the only factors at play. The first relates to the surprise individuals experience at being wrong when they were sure they were right. The second relates to the structure of the semantic network surrounding high- as compared to low-confidence errors.
Because they are surprised and perhaps embarrassed at having made a mistake on a response they strongly thought was correct, individuals may rally their attentional resources to better remember the correct answer. Subjects were required to detect when very soft tones occurred while they were doing the general-information error-correction task.
Some of the tones were intentionally presented simultaneously with the corrective feedback following high- and low-confidence errors. Participants were more likely to fail to detect the tones that were presented at the time of high-confidence error feedback than those presented at the time of low-confidence error feedback.carolsilbergeld.com/wp-includes/2808.php
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They showed that the surrounding context of high-confidence error feedback was better remembered than was the surrounding context of low-confidence error feedback, and they interpreted this result as favoring the attentional explanation. The most salient result from their study was that participants showed a voltage deflection—the P3a—that past literature on ERPs has linked to surprise reactions in which people rally their attention Friedman et al.
The literature has also associated this deflection with enhanced memory Paller et al. The P3a was largest for the feedback to high-confidence errors and smallest for the feedback to low-confidence errors. These results support the contention that high-confidence errors are surprising and that increased attention is paid to corrective feedback to such errors. Figure 2. Finally, Metcalfe et al. Participants answered questions for several hours, giving their confidence in their answer outside the scanner. Participants then entered the scanner and were presented with questions, their original answers, their original confidence ratings, and finally the correct answer.
When the brain activations to the feedback to high- and low-confidence errors were compared, it was found that medial frontal areas that prominently included the anterior cingulate—an area related to surprise, error detection, and attention—were differentially activated. Other areas, such as the dorsolateral prefrontal cortex and the temporal parietal junction see Figure 3 , were also differentially activated.
These results also implicate a surprise-related explanation of the enhanced encoding associated with the feedback to high-confidence errors. Figure 3. The second factor that has been implicated in the hypercorrection effect is a greater semantic knowledge in the domain of the high-confidence errors than in the low-confidence error domain. They were more likely to choose the correct alternative in a multiple-choice test that excluded their original answer if the error had been committed with high confidence.
Additionally, young adults required fewer clues to guess the correct answers to questions on which they had made high- as compared to low-confidence errors. These results indicate that familiarity with the domain of the high-confidence error, and plausibly with the answer itself, plays a role in the hypercorrection effect. Familiarity effects appear to follow the pattern of hypercorrection, but even so, these effects are probably coupled with the effects of surprise.
When a person is highly familiar with a domain of knowledge, it is within that domain that surprise at one's errors is most salient. People with amnesia present an exception to the general finding that learning from errors is helpful. In a seminal effort to promote learning in people with severe amnesia, Glisky et al.