联合航空公司将非常像人们再次在飞机上开始飞行。他们在大流行期间停了下来 - 近10倍，因为在2019年阵亡将士纪念日周末在美国飞行，在2020年之前的纪念日周末。这是联合国的一个问题，因为航空旅行是这样的，就像，这样，团结的整件事。但是，疫苗接种是，让我们同意，一个社会良好。俄亥俄斯16和UP之间的疫苗接种疫苗增加了49％。它实际上是有效的。和自动注册 - 选择而不是选择，就像许多状态疫苗彩票一样 - 具有更大的效果。
联合航空公司将非常像人们再次在飞机上开始飞行。他们在大流行期间停了下来 - 近10倍，因为在2019年阵亡将士纪念日周末在美国飞行，在2020年之前的纪念日周末。这是联合国的一个问题，因为航空旅行是这样的，就像，这样，团结的整件事。
但不是。 “我们有许多人涉及谁，我会说，从联合国内部的营销科学集团倾斜，”实际上不是正确的道路“，Luc Bondar（Luc Bondar）在营销和总统航空公司的频繁流程，里程数。 “我可能会崩溃一场高管会议，说有不同的方式。出于一些健康的讨论，我们同意了一种与行为科学非常一致的方法。“
邦德纳议员提出了一个威利Wonka-esque的金票票经验，“我认为，你和我正在说话的事实是我们的证据表明我们正确地说道了，”他说。在前48个小时内，United有超过400,000名参赛者和90多万里程的新注册。虽然Bondar没有嘎吱作响的数据，但他认为疫苗卡上的日期上传的新手将表明在宣布奖项后有一些重要的数量。这是一个很好的猜测，因为拥有巨大的现金奖品的彩票导致美国的疫苗接种率同样巨大的上涨，包括共和党领导的俄亥俄州，民主党主义的加利福尼亚州，以及任何 - 正在发生的事情 - 俄勒冈州。 （在俄亥俄州举行的一周疫苗接种在州长Mike Dewine宣布将赢得100万美元，青少年可以获得全面的奖学金。俄亥俄斯16和UP之间的疫苗接种疫苗增加了49％。那只是科学。好吧，经济学。但仍然。它实际上是有效的。
事实上，这不是人们如何使这些类型的决定。有些人有高度动力接种疫苗。有些人的动力很大。但有些人可能会看到整个东西，因为它们对他们来说略显不方便，而不是对社会有用。正如Richard Thaler和Cass Sunstein在他们的书中写的那样 - 一个更新的版本在八月出来 - 当人们觉得这样的时候，无论如何让他们做到这件事需要让这些东西变得容易。它有助于如果您也让这些事情变得有趣。 “彩票很有趣。这就像一个廉价的梦想，“芝加哥大学的诺贝尔奖获奖经济学家Thaler说，当时我问疫苗彩票。
彩票实际上混淆了一些经济学家。一个高级经济学家会说彩票票具有“预期价值”，其实际上是值得的，几乎没有任何东西，因为让我们面对它，你几乎肯定不会赢得胜利。它几乎不值得这篇文章在实际美元上印刷。但人们不会那样看。 “我们知道人们比他们的预期价值更加重要 - 因为人们买它们，”Thaler说。
疫苗彩票甚至是陌生人，因为唯一的进入成本是时间（因为Covid Spots是免费的）和副作用的机会。实际值和预期值很难在此处计算。 “一般人们为这些机会分配了更高的价值，乐透票，比乐透票的预期价值，”斯坦福全球项目中心的执行董事和俄勒冈州疫苗彩票上的顾问。 “获胜的概率非常低，因此预期值甚至没有满足成本。所以，如果你试图为你的巴克获得一个巨大的爆炸来激励人们，这可能是一种更便宜的方式。“
但知道如何党的经济学家以完全不同的方式看到彩票和其他诱惑。当我说出来时，这会听起来很粗糙，但有些人需要理由证明他们的行为并做出决定。这个想法被称为“基于原因的选择”。世界上大多数世界缺乏疫苗，但在美国广泛使用。如果有人还没有得到一个，也许他们只是一个反vaxxer，在这种情况下，彩票不会有帮助。但不同类型的犹豫对不同类型的干预措施敏感。在黑人社区中的一些人 - 有一些不信任医疗机构的历史原因，这需要一个不同的外展来解决。还有一些人，也许他们很忙，或者他们拖延，或者他们担心副作用，或者他们在犹豫不决的其他地方。一些励志的变化可能，很好，推动他们射门。
但这还不够。问题是经济学家Uri Gneezy和Aldo Rusicichini在写完文章时意味着什么的那种反向的反向“罚款是一个价格”。他们的假设说，如果你向人们向人们收取不良行为的罚款（对于从DateCare来拿起孩子的任何东西，可能会污染水道），这并不会阻止他们（和公司）的人数他们做生意的成本。如果您为有线提供甜甜圈或100美元或2,000美元的频繁投资，那就是有线的折扣，那就是他们分配到他们所获得的值的价值。如果这少，而不是疫苗的价值，它不起作用。针刺不值得针。克服疫苗犹豫不决理论上它太低了。
但是，当谈到Covid疫苗时，自由啤酒没有移动数字以及非理性但精美的奖品。 “经济学家认为没有免费啤酒，”泰尔说。 “真正的人认为自由啤酒很好。”但他们认为即使是100万美元的速度也是更好的。
在营销中，遥远的胜利的过度普遍称为“前景理论”;在游戏术语中，这是一个“外在奖励”，一些乐趣或有用的东西，这不是该法案所固有的。 “来自芝加哥的一个完全合理的经济学家无法弄清楚为什么人们购买彩票票，”僧人说。 “这是同样的事情发生在这里。人们分配给赢得100万美元的潜力的预期价值远远高于国家的成本。“
这种励志思维仅适用于疫苗的许多。僧侣，谁也是博彩银行长期游戏节省的Cofounder，“可变奖励奖”（那是彩票）激励人们增加储蓄并改善个人财务状况。在一次试验中，告诉人们注册储蓄账户也注册了抽奖会增加储蓄账户入学率为40％。和自动注册 - 选择而不是选择，就像许多状态疫苗彩票一样 - 具有更大的效果。如果您必须选择退出退休储蓄计划，则90％的人留在一起。选择选择，它是50％。 （它被称为“状态 - QUO偏见”）
这里的野生部分是给出了几百万美元的奖品实际上比说，给出每名疫苗的50美元。行为变化的好处是巨大的，当然 - 更多疫苗的人意味着医院的人员更少，经济复苏更快。但即使在美元美元的水平上，彩票也会成本更低，影响更大。俄亥俄州在其“vax-000万元”计划 - 500万美元的奖项上花费了大约560万美元的奖金，为一群奖学金到接种疫苗的青少年的奖学金为60万美元。彩票结果是一种力量乘法器。 “如果你不得不在CNN和ABC和NBC和NBC和当地站购买那个时间，那会花费什么？”俄亥俄州州长Mike Dewine的新闻秘书局长丹蒂尔尼在州宣布上周宣布第一个获胜者宣布的几分钟内告诉我。 “vax-a-millor已被赢得媒体覆盖到2580万美元的曲调。我们不能只买500万美元的宣传。“
同样的原则持有曼联。里程数点不会过期 - 对程序预先生的更改席位。如果你想要一个忠诚的计划来建立实际的忠诚度，这很好。但是，“我们会一直在发出，让我们说，5000英里到每位客户，那里的里程就会坐在那里，直到客户使用它们或者他们脱离，”邦德拉说。 “有成本，与之相关的责任。”它不会鼓励人们现在旅行，统一会冒着大家在航空公司运行一次赎回里程的机会。 “跑步的成本与让每位客户的潜在成本相比，某些奖品不同，”Bondar说。每位里程支付的一项小奖项与少数几个人的成员对此“从经济角度来看，后一种方法是一个更好的结果。”
曼联还在较小，每天常规奖项 - 就像加州既运行彩票，赠送较小的礼物。这使得每个人都知道别人正在获胜，一个“后悔彩票”使不可能的梦想似乎稍微更有可能。 Fomo很难忽视。
除了努力做某事的想法除外，他们可能没有其他事情，仍然是道德地克制 - 甚至更多，所以当你通过其他快乐的游戏机制来做。 “这就是为什么很多人不信任政府和科学，因为他们觉得他们被一直被操纵，”凯西亚霍德，心理学家和游戏 - 用户体验战略家说。文化价值在这里工作。一种轻推会仁慈，或者它可以是“黑暗模式”的一部分，利用在线改变行为的关注和习惯。 “有机会赢得有价值的东西 - 我们知道它有效，但道德地是值得努力的，”霍德说。 “如果，就像你去某个地方，嘿，你可以得到jab，如果你愿意，那就更容易了。”在购物商场做它。驾驶冰淇淋车，但它是疫苗镜头。这是一个不太复杂，制造的易于轻松的型号。
United Airlines would very much like people to start flying on airplanes again. They stopped during the pandemic—nearly 10 times as many people flew in the United States on Memorial Day weekend in 2019, the Before Times, as on the same three days in 2020. That’s a problem for United, because air travel is, like, United’s whole thing.
That company would also very much like the people who do fly on airplanes to be vaccinated against Covid-19. Not that planes and airports are crucibles of infection! Definitely not, probably. But vaccinations are, let’s agree, a social good. Pretty much everyone wins, except germs.
But United doesn’t want to require vaccination. People get so mad. So earlier this year, corporate bigwigs started brainstorming ideas to encourage people to get vaccinated and also fly United. Their idea: Give everyone who gets their shots a reward. Maybe a few thousand miles’ worth of frequent-flier points? It’s the airline equivalent of a doughnut, or a beer. You can have it, as a treat.
But no. “There were a number of us involved who, I would say, lean heavily from the marketing sciences group within United who said, ‘Actually, that’s not the right path,” says Luc Bondar, the vice president of marketing at United and president of the airline’s frequent-flier program, MileagePlus. “I may have crashed an executive meeting to say that there’s a different way. And out of some healthy discussion, we agreed on an approach that’s very aligned with behavioral science.”
That approach is a big damn lottery. Prove you’re vaccinated and join MileagePlus, and you could win a year of travel for two in first class. Now, you probably won’t win. But still, that’s a high-value target. They have warm nuts. “It was that trade-off. Do we want to give something certain but small,” Bondar says, “versus going out with a sweepstakes?”
Bondar proposed a Willy Wonka-esque golden-ticket experience, “and the fact that you and I are talking, I think, is evidence that we got it right,” he says. In the first 48 hours, United had over 400,000 entrants and more than 100,000 new sign-ups for MileagePlus. While Bondar hasn’t crunched the data yet, he thinks the dates on the vaccine cards the newbies uploaded will show that some significant number got their shots after the prize was announced. It’s a good guess, since lotteries with huge cash prizes have led to similarly huge upticks in vaccination rates in half a dozen states across the US, including Republican-led Ohio, Democrat-led California, and whatever-the-hell-is-happening-in Oregon. (In Ohio, week-on-week vaccinations were declining by 25 percent before Governor Mike DeWine announced that five lucky shot-getters would win $1 million, and teenagers could get full-ride scholarships. The downslope turned into an upslope, to the tune of a 49 percent increase in vaccinations among Ohioans 16 and up.) A few life-changing prizes may turn out to be just the thing to get vaccine-hesitant Americans to roll up their sleeves. That’s just science. Well, economics. But still. It actually works.
Maybe it doesn’t sit well with you, the idea that public health officials (or airlines) are resorting to, let’s be honest, hucksterish means to drive crowds toward a scientifically wondrous shot that prevents a potentially fatal disease. You would think the big prize would be “not dying.”
In fact, that’s just not how people make these kinds of decisions. Some people are highly motivated to get vaccinated. Some people are highly motivated not to. But some folks might just see the whole thing as slightly more inconvenient for them than it is useful for society. As Richard Thaler and Cass Sunstein wrote in their book Nudge—an updated version comes out in August—when people feel that way, getting them to do the thing anyway requires making those things easy. It helps if you also make those things fun. “Lotteries are fun. It’s like a cheap dream,” says Thaler, a Nobel Prize–winning economist at the University of Chicago, when I ask about vaccine lotteries.
Lotteries actually confuse some economists. A hyperrational economist would say that a lottery ticket has an “expected value,” what it’s actually going to be worth, of hardly anything at all, because, let’s face it, you’re almost certainly not going to win. It’s barely worth the paper it’s printed on, in real dollars. But people don’t see it that way. “We know people value them much more highly than their expected value—because people buy them,” Thaler says.
Vaccine lotteries are even stranger, because the only cost to enter is time (since Covid shots are free) and the chance of side effects. Real values and expected values are hard to calculate here. “People in general assign a higher value to these opportunities, the lotto tickets, than the expected value of the lotto ticket,” says Ashby Monk, executive director of the Stanford Global Projects Center and a consultant on the Oregon vaccine lottery. “The probability of winning is very low, so the expected value doesn’t even meet the cost. So if you’re trying to get a huge bang for your buck to motivate people, this is probably a cheaper way.”
But economists who know how to party see lotteries and other inducements in a whole different way. This will sound resoundingly dumb when I say it, but some people need reasons to justify their behaviors and make decisions. That idea is called “reason-based choice.” Vaccines are scarce in most of the world but widely available in the United States. If someone hasn’t gotten one yet, maybe they’re just an anti-vaxxer, in which case, a lottery ain’t gonna help. But different kinds of hesitancy are sensitive to different kinds of interventions. Some people—like in the Black community—have historical reasons to distrust the medical establishment, and that requires a different kind of outreach to fix. And some people, maybe they’re busy, or they procrastinate, or they’re worried about side effects, or they’re anywhere else on the spectrum of hesitancy. Some motivational change might, well, nudge them to get a shot.
So why not just give people a guaranteed reward, instead of one that almost certainly won’t hit? Maybe not a doughnut, but what about, say, $100? That’s a lot.
But it’s not enough. The problem is sort of the inverse of what the economists Uri Gneezy and Aldo Rustichini meant when they wrote the article “A Fine Is a Price.” Their hypothesis says that if you charge people a penalty for bad behavior (for anything from coming late to pick up kids at daycare to, presumably, polluting waterways), that doesn’t deter them—people (and corporations) just factor the fine into their cost of doing business. The flip side is, if you give people a doughnut or $100 or 2,000 frequent-flier miles or a discounted $5 subscription to WIRED, that’s the value they assign to what they’re getting. And if that’s less, to them, than the value of getting vaccinated, it doesn’t work as a nudge. The needling isn’t worth the needle. It’s too low to overcome vaccine hesitancy—in theory.
(This idea is actually hard to study. Thaler says he and Katy Milkman, a behavior researcher at the Wharton School and author of How to Change, once thought about running an experiment to give some people $3 lottery tickets to induce them to get flu vaccines. “It would’ve been a nice thing to have done two years ago,” Thaler says. And proposals to give people $100 to get vaccines have run into trouble with university institutional review boards, the groups that monitor the treatment of human subjects in scientific research. One fundamental ethical tenet is that you’re not supposed to coerce or bribe people to participate.)
But when it comes to Covid vaccines, free beers haven’t moved numbers as well as the irrational but fabulous prizes. “Economists think there’s no such thing as a free beer,” Thaler says. “Real people think free beers are good.” But they think even a scant chance at $1 million is better.
In marketing, this overvaluing of the distant win is called “prospect theory”; in gaming terms, it’s an “extrinsic reward,” something fun or useful that’s not inherent to the act. “A fully rational economist from Chicago can’t figure out why people buy lottery tickets,” Monk says. “It’s the same thing happening here. The expected value that people assign to the potential to win $1 million is far higher than the cost to the state.”
This motivational thinking applies to a lot more than vaccines. Monk, who’s also cofounder of the gamified bank Long Game Savings, says “variable-reward prizes” (that’s lotteries) motivate people to increase their savings and improve their personal finances. In one trial, telling people that enrolling in a savings account also enrolls them in a raffle increased savings account enrollments by 40 percent. And auto-enrollment—opt-out instead of opt-in, as is the case for many of the state vaccine lotteries—has an even bigger effect. If you have to opt out of a retirement savings program, 90 percent of people stay in one. Opt in, it’s 50 percent. (That’s called “status-quo bias.”)
A free ride to a vaccination site, and maybe better websites to sign up? Those all help, too, for sure. Again, different kinds of hesitancy have different solutions. When things are easy, people are more likely to do them. That’s “effort bias.” “Do what it takes to give people no excuse for not doing it, and a justification for doing it—in addition to the obvious one, which is, we don’t want to get sick,” Thaler says.
The wild part here is that giving out a few million-dollar prizes is actually cheaper than, say, giving $50 per vaccinated person. The benefits of the behavior change are enormous, of course—more vaccinated people means fewer people in hospitals and a quicker economic recovery. But even at the dollar-on-dollar level, lotteries cost less and have a bigger impact. Ohio spent about $5.6 million on its “Vax-a-Million” program—5 million-dollar prizes and $600,000 for a bunch of scholarships to teenagers who get vaccinated. The lottery turns out to be a force multiplier. “If you had to buy that time on CNN and ABC and NBC and local stations, what would that cost?” Dan Tierney, press secretary for Ohio governor Mike DeWine, told me just a few minutes before the state announced the first winner last week. “Vax-a-Million has been covered in earned media to the tune of $25.8 million. We couldn’t have bought that amount of publicity with just $5 million.”
The same principle holds at United. MileagePlus points don’t expire—a change Bondar made to the program pre-Covid. That’s good if you want a loyalty program to build actual loyalty. But “we would have been giving out, let’s say, 5,000 miles to every customer, and those miles would have sat out there until the customers used them or they disengaged,” Bondar says. “There’s a cost, a liability associated with that.” It wouldn’t have encouraged people to travel now, and United would have risked the chance of everyone redeeming miles at once—a run on the airline. “The cost of running a sweepstakes versus the potential cost of giving every customer a small, certain prize is different,” Bondar says. A small award to every MileagePlus member versus really big awards to just a few? “The latter approach, from an economic standpoint, is a better outcome.”
United’s also running smaller, regular prizes every day—just as California is both running a lottery and giving away smaller gifts. That makes sure everyone knows someone else is winning, a “regret lottery” to make the impossible dream seem slightly more possible. FOMO is tough to ignore.
If a lottery gets people to get vaccinated, and it’s economical for the institutions running it, that feels like a win-win. For that matter, why not get all lotteried up in here? Attach them as nudges for every dutiful, goody-two-shoes societal need. Governments, agencies, and companies could set up opt-out, million-dollar lotteries for voting, or getting an annual physical, or buying earthquake insurance. (Actually, wait, buying insurance is already kind of a lottery, except if you lose, you win. But still.)
Except the idea of nudging people to do something they might not have otherwise done is still ethically fraught—even more so when you do it via the otherwise joyful mechanisms of games. “That’s why a lot of people don’t trust government and science, because they feel they’re being manipulated all the time,” says Celia Hodent, a psychologist and game-user-experience strategist. Cultural values are at work here. A nudge can be benevolent, or it can be part of a “dark pattern,” exploiting attention and habit to change behaviors online. “A chance to win something that’s valuable—we know that it works, but ethically it’s debatable,” Hodent says. “It’d be easier if, like, you go somewhere and, hey, you can get the jab if you want.” Do it in shopping malls. Drive an ice cream truck around, but it’s vaccine shots. That’d be a less complicated, make-it-easy type nudge.