Does Competition Positively Impact Physical Activity? : PRC Researchers Kevin Volpp and David Asch

Aug 2, 2016 | The Latest

Volpp-Asch combo 7.27.16 PRC Director Kevin Volpp, MD, PhD, and PRC Researcher David Asch, MD, MBA, compare the effectiveness of different combinations of social comparison feedback and financial incentives to increase physical activity in a study in the July/August issue of the American Journal of Health Promotion.

In one of the first randomized trials to test different combinations of social comparison feedback and financial incentives, the researchers found that social comparison to the median with financial incentives was more effective than social comparison to the top quartile without incentives.  In the social comparison condition, participants, grouped by team,  were provided with feedback on their performance and the performance of other teams.  “By focusing social comparison feedback on performance relative to other teams,” the researchers suggest, “we leverage individuals’ competitive drive to motivate behavior change.” These findings may help to guide larger evaluations of interventions to increase physical activity using social comparison feedback and financial incentives.


Read more about this study at LiveScience.