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Social incentives concern a broad range of interpersonal rewards and motivations that encourage people to behave in a socially valued and approved manner. Social incentives include projecting a positive social image and reputation, gaining social acceptance, and gaining a better place in the social hierarchy.
Two types of incentives are often considered as the underlying causes of behavior – economic incentives and social incentives (Buss 1983). While economic incentives refer to clear and easily quantifiable monetary benefits that one can gain from performing a specific behavior, social incentives are more loosely defined interpersonal rewards and motivations for behaviors which are usually socially valued.
The idea that social incentives can motivate behaviors is based on the notion that human beings are social animals with a strong need to belong (Baumeister and Leary 1995). This notion...
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