The Motivating Force of Carrot Versus Stick Incentives on Prosocial Behavior

Alixandra Barasch, University of Pennsylvania, USA
Deborah A. Small, University of Pennsylvania, USA
While “stick” incentives outperform “carrot” incentives in some domains due to loss aversion, we find the opposite pattern for incentives designed to motivate prosocial behavior. Seven studies demonstrate this effect and show that this effect is driven by the greater potential for carrot incentives to serve as self-signals of generosity.
[ to cite ]:
Alixandra Barasch and Deborah A. Small (2014) ,"The Motivating Force of Carrot Versus Stick Incentives on Prosocial Behavior", in NA - Advances in Consumer Research Volume 42, eds. June Cotte and Stacy Wood, Duluth, MN : Association for Consumer Research, Pages: 12-16.