Document Detail

Incentivizing Wellness in the Workplace: Sticks (Not Carrots) Send Stigmatizing Signals.
MedLine Citation:
PMID:  23765268     Owner:  NLM     Status:  Publisher    
Companies often provide incentives for employees to maintain healthy lifestyles. These incentives can take the form of either discounted premiums for healthy-weight employees ("carrot" policies) or increased premiums for overweight employees ("stick" policies). In the three studies reported here, we demonstrated that even when stick and carrot policies are formally equivalent, they do not necessarily convey the same information to employees. Stick but not carrot policies were viewed as reflecting negative company attitudes toward overweight employees (Study 1a) and were evaluated especially negatively by overweight participants (Study 1b). This was true even when overweight employees paid less money under the stick than under the carrot policy. When acting as policymakers (Study 2), participants with high levels of implicit overweight bias were especially likely to choose stick policies-often on the grounds that such policies were cost-effective-even when doing so was more costly to the company. Policymakers should realize that the framing of incentive programs can convey tacit, and sometimes stigmatizing, messages.
David Tannenbaum; Chad J Valasek; Eric D Knowles; Peter H Ditto
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Publication Detail:
Type:  JOURNAL ARTICLE     Date:  2013-6-13
Journal Detail:
Title:  Psychological science     Volume:  -     ISSN:  1467-9280     ISO Abbreviation:  Psychol Sci     Publication Date:  2013 Jun 
Date Detail:
Created Date:  2013-6-14     Completed Date:  -     Revised Date:  -    
Medline Journal Info:
Nlm Unique ID:  9007542     Medline TA:  Psychol Sci     Country:  -    
Other Details:
Languages:  ENG     Pagination:  -     Citation Subset:  -    
1Anderson School of Management, University of California, Los Angeles.
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