Date of Award

Summer 2017

Document Type


Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy (PhD)



Committee Director

Mark W. Scerbo

Committee Member

James P. Bliss

Committee Member

Gayle Gliva-McConvey


The purpose of the present research was to examine the effects of narrative performance feedback on learning and transfer of intercultural communication skills learned in an experiential training task. It was predicted that feedback based on a narrative structure, especially from a first-person perspective, would enhance learning by providing schemas for memory organization, contextual information, and emotional content. Using a healthcare-related training task, participants learned the CRASH principles of intercultural sensitivity and then performed a low-fidelity, text-based simulated conversation with a patient and patient’s family member. Participants were randomly assigned to one of three kinds of performance feedback: didactic, third-person narrative, or first-person narrative. Dependent variables were content knowledge as assessed by content quiz scores, transfer of training as assessed by situational judgment tests (SJTs), and subjective experiential learning as assessed by items from the Experiential Learning Survey (ELS). Two separate experiments were conducted: 133 participants completed the task with testing immediately following training, and in a follow-up study 46 participants completed the task with a one-week interval between training and testing. The results showed few significant effects of feedback type. The predicted effects of feedback type on CRASH quiz scores, SJT responses, and ELS scores were not observed. However, there were some interactions between feedback type and gender. Male participants scored significantly lower than female participants on the CRASH content quiz in the didactic feedback condition only, suggesting narrative feedback was uniquely beneficial for males for remembering content. Results from some ELS items suggested that there were gender differences in the didactic condition only, with males giving lower ratings for utility of the training. Taken together, the findings suggest that the type of communication skills performance feedback might not have broad implications in learning, transfer, or subjective experience, but there may be some benefits of narrative feedback for males. Further research is needed to determine whether this effect holds in other contexts with other tasks and measures.


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