Reading micro research is so much better than the noisy macro research. Former is much more specific dealing with issues that matter whereas latter is usually noisy and one is never sure of its usefulness. Global spillovers have been the talk of the town and one does not really know who is responsible.
Evidence suggests that people are more likely to behave in a pro-social way if they are aware of others who behave in such a manner. This column finds evidence for this phenomenon among blood donors. For every unit increase in a donor’s motivation, there is a 44% spillover in motivation to their fellow tenant. There is an overall increase in donation rates due to such a social multiplier of 17.9 percentage points, instead of the 10 percentage points obtained by calling an isolated donor.
The significance of these findings extends beyond blood donations. Given that it is the motivation cascading and feeding back from one person to another, it seems feasible that the social multiplier effect might extend to other interventions within an organisation or society designed to motivate a particular type of behaviour. Therefore, those interventions would benefit from targeting social groups – project teams, or intra-organisational networks and clubs, for example. However, it is important to note that we are not claiming that such spillovers apply beyond pro-social behaviour and further research would be required to confirm a comparable social multiplier effect in other domains.
For policymakers, what our research highlights for sure is that efforts at encouraging good citizenship, whatever the particular activity they are hoping to boost, should be directed at affecting the motivation of individuals in social groups. Motivational interventions targeted at couples, friends, families, club members, or church congregations, for example, are likely to be more efficient and effective than targeting independent individuals. Harnessing a network effect, by utilising social ties, policymakers can leverage the motivational impact of policy interventions designed to promote good citizenship.
This bit has been known. Whenever there has been a need to appeal for a cause, the idea is to appeal as fellow citizens, countrymen and so on.. Hence, the results confirm what one would expect which is nice to read.