University Study Finds Constructive Criticism, Not Undeserved Praise, Is More Helpful to Black Students

A new study led by Davis S. Yeager, an assistant professor of developmental psychology at the University of Texas at Austin, finds that praising African American students for mediocre work in an effort to boost self-esteem can actually have just the opposite effect. Offering praise for substandard work can be seen as patronizing by Black students, particularly when the undeserved praise comes from a White teacher, according to the study.

In three separate studies conducted in public schools in Connecticut and New York City, Black students who were given constructive criticism of their work followed by statements that the teachers had higher expectations, performed far better on subsequent assignments than students who were not given constructive criticism.

The study, “Breaking the Cycle of Mistrust: Wise Interventions to Provide Critical Feedback Across the Racial Divide,” was published on the website of the Journal of Experimental Psychology: General, and may be accessed here.

Related Articles

Leave a Reply

Get the JBHE Weekly Bulletin

Receive our weekly email newsletter delivered to your inbox

Latest News

Elizabeth City State University Partners With the University of Tennessee Health Science Center to Increase Representation of Black Graduate...

"We are excited by this partnership with UT Health Science Center and the opportunities this brings to our students who wish to pursue advanced degrees," said Kuldeep Rawat, dean of the Elizabeth City State University School of Science, Health and Technology.

Kimberly White-Smith Honored for Outstanding Contributions to Teacher Education

“Through her leadership and scholarship, Dr. White-Smith inspires a new generation of teachers to serve students and approach their work with equity, compassion, and respect,” said Gail F. Baker, provost and senior vice president at the University of San Diego. 

South Carolina State University Adds Concentration in Fire Protection Engineering for Civil Engineering Students

The civil engineering degree program at historically Black South Carolina State University has established a concentration in fire protection engineering. The program was developed with guidance from Savannah River Nuclear Solutions.

Five Black Leaders Appointed to Administrative Positions

Taking n new administrative roles are Keith Humphrey at the University of Memphis, DeMarcus Hopson at Georgetown College in Kentocky, Sonja Brown at Fayetteville State University, Denisha Hendricks at Johnson C. Smith University, and CJ Charlton at Delaware State University.

Featured Jobs