Exercise more? Don't show me the money, take it away

A study done by Dr. Mitesh Patel, an assistant professor in the Perelman School of Medicine and at the Wharton School at the University of Pennsylvania gave 281 people a 7,000 step-a-day goal that they were to keep up during a 13-week challenge. Researchers tested three financial incentive designs.

One group received $1.40 each day that they hit the 7,000-step goal. A second group was entered into a daily lottery, but participants were only eligible to collect a reward if they reached 7,000 steps the day before. The third group was given $42 upfront each month, and $1.40 was taken away each day the goal was not met.

The researchers found that the possibility of losing money led people to exercise more than the other incentives. It resulted in a 50% relative increase in the average amount of days participants achieved their physical activity goals.

This is consistent with the research by Kevin Hogan in his book The Science of Influence. The fear of loss is a much greater motivator to most than the possibility of gain.

What does this mean in regards to influencing people? It means when building win-win relationships, you need to demonstrate 2 things. How you can help them get the currencies (what they want/need) they desire and/or help them from losing them.