A mockup of a react button. The platform's 'Thanks' icon is emphasized.

'Thank You' Button

Increases retention & contagious prosocial behaviors

Tested

Likely

Empower Connection

'Thank You' Button

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Overview

What It Is

A stand-alone button, or reaction, which enables users to express thanks and gratitude.

What Is Its Intended Impact

Evidence has shown that receiving thanks increased two-week retention of Wikipedia contributors by 2 percentage points on average, and caused people to send more thanks to others by 43% on average.

When To Use It

This works as either a react icon for when users may 'like' content, or as a stand-alone button beneath content.

How We Know It Works

Why It Might Work

In 2020, Cornell's Citizen & Technology Lab—i.e. CAT Lab—published findings from a year-long experiment. The study explored the impacts of 344 volunteers thanking 2,702 Arabic, German, Polish, and Persian-language, Wikipedia contributors.

Why It Matters

The ability to increase new user retention by two percent, coupled with a 43% in thankful exchanges, could correlate to not only increased sustained web traffic, but also to a more resilient community.

We also think that it matters that people, when they are thanked via a button like this, proceed to use the button to thank others.

Humans are social creatures. Research on gratitude has found that, when your brain recognizes that someone has done something nice for you, it reacts with gratitude to motivate you to repay them and others. Gratitude signals the "interpersonal warmth of the expresser, [which prompts] investment in the burgeoning social bond." (Williams, L. A., & Bartlett, M. Y., 2015)

We would like to see more research on whether this increased gratitude has more direct, measurable effects on community cohesiveness and resilience to anti-social behavior.

Special Considerations

Examples

This entry is currently being researched & evaluated!

You could help us improve this entry by contributing facts, media, screenshots, and other evidence of its existence in the wild.
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Our Confidence Rating

Likely

A grade of Likely is given to interventions that someone has rigorously experimented, published their methods and data, all without a conflict of interest being present. However, it is still awaiting peer review, i.e. it is a preprint.

This is the third highest grade that we give interventions.

In The Wild

This intervention has precedence, and exists, or has at one time or another, existed in the wild.

Citations

Intervention Specific Research

Volunteers Thanked Thousands of Wikipedia Editors to Learn the Effects of Receiving Thanks

Author(s)

J. Nathan Matias, Reem Al-Kashif, Julia Kamin, Max Klein and Eric Pennington

Date of Publication

June 20, 2020

Publication Status

Preprint

Study Design

Experimental

Sample Size(s)

Min.

Total

2702

Max.

Affiliation(s)

Citizen and Technology (CAT) Lab

Journal Name

Entry Type

Research Article or Manuscript

Publication Statistics

Online Impact

Citations

APA Citation

There's more to learn about this intervention. Want to help?

Do you think this intervention could have more benefits, unacknowledged drawbacks, or other inaccuracies that we've neglected to mention here?

We always welcome more evidence and rigorous research to back up, debunk, or augment what we know.

If you want to be a part of that effort, we'd love to have your help!

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Further Reading

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