Samir’s Selection 05/18/2015 (p.m.)

  • What does consistently work may be surprising: interventions based not on money, but on leveraging social concerns.

    One is to make people’s cooperative (or selfish) choices more observable to others, like neighbours or co-workers.

    The second works in the opposite direction, providing people with information about how others around them are behaving (this is called a “descriptive social norm”).

    We cooperate because it makes us look good… When your choices are observable by others, it makes it possible for good actions to benefit your reputation.

    … Paying people muddies the reputational benefits of cooperating.
    … Setting defaults such that noncooperation requires actively opting out seems to work well.

    … The currency that matters most is not measured in dollars and cents, but in the opinions of others.

    tags: cooperation motivation choice behaviouraleconomics economics experiment policy publicpolicy publicinterest

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