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Social comparison and online contributions

Research Achievements

Social comparison and online contributions

We design a field experiment to explore the use of social comparison to increase contributions to an online community. We find that, after receiving behavioral information about the median user's total number of movie ratings, users below the median demonstrate a 530-percent increase in the number of monthly movie ratings, while those above the median decrease their ratings by 62-percent. When given outcome information about the average user's net benefit score, above-average users mainly engage in activities that help others. Our findings suggest that effective personalized social information can increase the level of public goods provision. (Chen, Harper, Konstan and Li, 2010)