Stop Worrying About Free Beer and Doughnuts. We’re in the Middle of a Pandemic.

In The Atlantic

A needle formed by hundred-dollar bills

For too long, we’ve believed the myth that incentives backfire. But there’s nothing wrong with bribing people to get vaccinated.

From my article in The Atlantic, posted May 19, 2021

A stream of grumbling recently turned up in my Twitter feed over incentives that are being offered to encourage Americans to get a COVID-19 vaccine, including money, beer, doughnuts and even weed. The idea that society is better off when people act on “intrinsic” motivation—that is, because they’re inclined to do the right thing—and not on “extrinsic” motivation, such as receiving a cash payment, is widespread. But is there really something inherently wrong with bribing people to do the right thing? And on a practical level, does it work?….Read more

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One thought on “Stop Worrying About Free Beer and Doughnuts. We’re in the Middle of a Pandemic.

  1. James Pearce says:

    I wish people did the right thing, but only some people do.
    I wish people did the sensible and logical thing, but even less do.
    And since I share the basically same genetic package as all other people, if it takes a bribe to contain this pandemic, then bribe them.
    Bribing is not good, but facilitating the death of those who cannot get vacinated due to their health conditions, their age, and in much of the world, their lack of resources is worse, much worse.
    Be practicle, use any tools of advertising available, including sweepstakes and free gifts, as well as discounts or anything else which does not cause harm or involve coersion to get those bodies vacinated.

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