Feedback – Concept, positive and negative feedback and examples

We explain what feedback is, its meaning and what positive feedback consists of. Also, what is negative feedback and examples.

Feedback is an evaluation or criticism that an interlocutor provides in the face of a stimulus.

What is the feedback?

The term feedback comes from English and is equivalent to the word feedback. It is usually used as synonymous with response, reaction or return, wanting to allude to the opinion, evaluation or criticism that an interlocutor gives us in the face of a stimulus on our part.

In communication theory, feedback is an important part that guarantees the continuity of the communicative process, since alternates the sender and receiver, allowing each to occupy the opposite position. This also applies to other types of communication, such as electronic or computerized.

At the same time, it is known as feedback auditory or effect Larsen to an auditory phenomenon that occurs when there is direct feedback between an audio input (such as a microphone) and an output of the same signal (such as a speaker).

The effect produced has a frequency such that it is perceived by our ears as an annoying and often painful beep, depending on the volume level used. This is because the sound signal is enlarged, emitted, collected, re-enlarged and so on.

Another use of the term feedback has to do with certain systems control methods, in which the result obtained by a process is reintroduced to the system, either as a way to evaluate the result, optimize its behavior or to make modifications.

Positive feedback

Positive feedback can contribute to the improvement of a process.

In communicative terms, it speaks of feedback positive when the interlocutors of a communication (an exhibition, a demonstration, a presentation, etc.) provide a return that contributes to the improvement of the process or even provides possible solutions for its optimization.

On the other hand, in more technical terms (of systems), we speak of positive feedback when the feedback of a system makes it grow or evolve towards new states of equilibrium.

Negative feedback

While what is positive and negative often depends on your point of view, it is often thought of as feedback negative in communication to disapproving comments or sterile criticisms, that is, to rejection of the interlocutors towards the above.

From a technical point of view, however, the feedback Negative is the one that pushes the system towards a punctual equilibrium, that is, one that is conservative or that regulates actions, counteracts possible growth. Depending on the occasions, negative feedback can be as much or more desirable than positive.

Feedback examples

Companies use social networks to ask their users for opinions.

Some possible examples of feedback are:

  • In business administration. When one department of the organization exposes its performance, its plans for the future or its productivity indexes to the others, the public can offer them positive or negative feedback according to their performance evaluation or the plans offered during the exhibition.
  • In verbal communication. When two people are talking on the phone and there is some kind of interference or noise, one of them can ask the other if they hear it, and the other answer yes; then they will have feedback in such a way that they can initiate fluent communication.
  • On social media. One of the great virtues of these new 2.0 technologies on the Internet is the possibility that for each action taken by the company (a promotion, a change in design, a call, etc.) its users or target audience may express their opinion, agree or disagree and provide valuable feedback to the company on whether or not it makes the right decisions.