Gender Differences in the Effect of Subjective Feedback in an Online Game
We test for gender differences in the impact of subjective feedback, using an online game with randomized treatment in the form of pop-up texts and graphics. We estimate the impact of giving encouragement or praise on performance (score, accuracy) and persistence (number of games played). We find some evidence of gender differences: while praise has little impact, encouragement has a positive impact on the persistence and performance of females and a negative impact on the performance of males. These are driven by those with low task-related confidence. The findings suggest that giving more individualized feedback – such as encouragement to females with low task-related confidence – can potentially improve gender equality, especially in traditionally male fields.