News from the social science lab shows how envy can improve response to rebate programs, or ruin them. Research shows that envy alters the way we think and act:
- Memory and attention are stimulated by envy. That’s good.
- Feelings of envy make you give up sooner on problem-solving tasks. That’s bad.
Those findings are reported in a recent New York Times article, A deadly sin that serves a higher purpose.
To exploit the good and dodge thebad we need rebate program structures that either:
- shorten up the payback cycle
- or maintain a steady trickle of rewards to keep you engaged until the big payoff arrives