Whether it’s an attempt to increase recycling rates, reduce energy consumption or cut carbon emissions, conventional wisdom says the best way to get people to do the right thing is to make it worth their while with financial incentives.
But a new study shows that there may be an easier — and cheaper — way: by boosting people’s reputations through the use of peer pressure.
“When people know it’s a cooperative effort, they feel peer pressure to take part,” Rand explained. “They think, ‘If I don’t do this, I’m going to look like a jerk.’ But if it’s not observable, then there’s no problem with not participating.”
(a re-print inspired by all these responses. Also, please, can no one ever again utter a variant of the phrase “Wow, for an [inherent characteristic] you are certainly [adjective]!” That is never, ever going to go well.)
The simplest example of this is not telling a tall person that they’re…
― Margaret Thatcher (via coolcatteacher)