Difference Between Criticism and Feedback

Key Difference – Criticism and Feedback


Criticism and feedback are two words that are used in instances of evaluation of work or performance of people between which a key difference can be identified. Criticism refers to a critical assessment. This can often be judgmental and harsh. Feedback, on the other hand, refers to comments given about the performance of a person or a product. The key difference between criticism and feedback is that while criticism often entails judging the other person and adopting a condescending attitude, feedback is merely a presentation of information that allows the individual to develop. Through this article let us examine the differences between the two words.

What is Criticism?

Criticism refers to the critical assessment of the performance, behavior of an individual, or a literary or artistic work. When people are criticized by others, it can be a very unpleasant experience for the receiver because criticism mostly emphasizes on the faults or weaknesses of the individual. This is why most people believe that in criticism the receiver is often made to feel condescended.

When speaking of criticism there are mainly two types. They are constructive and destructive criticism. Constructive criticism is given with the intent of creating a positive change in the individual. It aims at developing the abilities or changing the behavior of the individual. Destructive criticism, however, does not aim to make any progressive developments in the individual. On the contrary, it shatters a person’s self-esteem. Destructive criticism can even make the individual feel as if he were a failure.

Other than the individual, criticism can also be aimed at literary or artistic works in which case critics review the works of others and produce literary criticisms. Through these, the critics highlight the positives as well as negatives of the literary work. These can often be very subjective accounts.

Difference Between Criticism and Feedback

What is Feedback?

Feedback refers to comments about a product or individual performance. Let us comprehend this through a simple example. An organization that releases a new product to the market wishes to evaluate the response of the public of the product. For this purpose, the organization plans a small event in which sample products are given to the general public, and request for the feedback. The feedback allows the organization to understand how well the product is received by people and change their course of action accordingly.

Feedback can be given for people as well. For an example of an organization, a manager can give feedback to his employees on a newly completed project. This is beneficial to the employees as it points out their strengths, weaknesses, and necessary changes that need to be implemented in a factual, objective manner.

Key Difference - Criticism vs Feedback

What is the difference between Criticism and Feedback?

Definitions of Criticism and Feedback:

Criticism: Criticism refers to the critical assessment of the performance, behavior of an individual or a literary or artistic work.

Feedback: Feedback refers to comments about a product or individual performance.

Characteristics of Criticism and Feedback:


Criticism: Criticism can often be subjective.

Feedback: Feedback is usually objective.


Criticism: Since criticism is usually condescending, it can have a negative impact on the person.

Feedback: Feedback being factual assists the person to work on his flaws while being content of his strengths.


Image Courtesy:

1. “Samuel Johnson by Joshua Reynolds 2” by Joshua Reynolds – Originally in English Wikipedia, uploaded 21:07, 2005 June 14 by w:User:GeogreScanned from: Rogers, Pat (2001). The Oxford Illustrated History of English Literature. Oxford University Press, p. 241. ISBN 1435295811. [Public Domain] via Commons

2. Feedback, Men, Talk, Communication 796135 by Geralt [Public Domain] via Pixabay