Individual Differences in Feedback Seeking: Counterintuitive Results Concerning Tolerance of Ambiguity

Gary Stark


The purpose of this study was to replicate previous findings regarding the association between feedback seeking and the individual difference constructs of tolerance of ambiguity and locus of control, using unique measures of said individual differences. Namely, while previous feedback seeking research used Norton’s (1975) tolerance of ambiguity measures, this study used Budner’s (1962) measure to capture facets of tolerance of ambiguity not captured by Norton’s measure. Locus of control was measured using Rotter’s (1966) dispositional measure while previous feedback seeking research relied on experimentally creating conditions of perceived control. This study used a laboratory setting. Respondents, 137 undergraduates at a U.S. university, were told they were taking a management aptitude test and were measured as to their interest in feedback and feedback sought on said test. Feedback seeking was measured three different ways -- self-reported behavior, observed (by the researcher) behavior, and respondents’ indication of intent to seek feedback. Contrary to expectations, tolerance of ambiguity was positively, rather than inversely, associated with feedback seeking. There was not a significant relation between locus of control and feedback seeking. Self-reported feedback seeking differed from observed feedback seeking.

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International Journal of Business Administration
ISSN 1923-4007(Print) ISSN 1923-4015(Online)


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