Social pressure and hyperbolic discounting can improve physical health

Social Norms and Health
Intervention Health

How positive feedback push performance and behavior

Intervention Description

To combat obesity in individuals with sedentary jobs, researchers created a competition in which teams of employees competed to walk the most steps in a 6-week period. This competition included immediate feedback, incentives for walking more, and constant updating of a scoreboard. This capitalized on many behavioral ideas, including social norms and immediate incentives. During the competition, 70% of participants lost weight. Furthermore, most participants had positive feedback about the competition, suggesting that healthy behavior can come without tradeoffs.

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