Date of Graduation


Document Type


Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy in Psychology (PhD)

Degree Level



Psychological Science


Lindsay Ham

Committee Member

Jennifer C Veilleux

Second Committee Member

Scott Eidelman


Assessment Feedback;Need for structure;Psychological assessment


Psychological assessment plays a vital role in differential diagnosis, treatment planning, and measurement of treatment effectiveness. Insufficient or ineffective feedback to the client can limit the utility of psychological assessment. Finn and Tonsager (1997) advise that assessment feedback will be best received when the feedback content is ordered to start with information that is most consistent with the client’s existing self-concept to information that is the most discrepant from their self-concept. There is minimal empirical support for this practice recommendation. The current study investigates the relationship between presentation order of personality feedback and participant response to feedback (i.e., feedback evaluations, feedback acceptance, recommendation follow-through). College students (n = 184) completed a personality assessment and were randomly assigned into two conditions in which the sequencing of feedback was manipulated (e.g., self-view congruent and self-view discrepant), then asked to report their response to the feedback information. Participants in the self-view congruent condition reported significantly higher perceived value of the feedback, compared to participants in the self-view discrepant condition. Feedback condition did not significantly impact positive emotions, feedback acceptance, nor recommendation follow-through. Need for structure did not moderate the relationship between feedback condition and feedback acceptance. These findings offer partial support for Finn and Tonsager’s (1997) recommendations of strategically ordering assessment feedback. If replicated in clinical samples, findings suggest that ordering assessment feedback results to start with self-view congruent information compared to self-view discrepant information is likely to result in high perceived value of feedback information.

Included in

Psychology Commons