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

Tested

Empower Connection

'Thank You' Button

Increases retention & contagious prosocial behaviors

Overview

What It Is

A stand-alone button, or reaction, that expresses thanks and gratitude.

What It Does

Being assigned to receive thanks increased two-week retention of Wikipedia contributors by 2 percentage points on average for newcomers and experienced participants across communities (p < 0.001).

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

According to a study by Cornell's Citizen & Technology Lab, they: "organized 344 volunteers over the last year to thank 2,702 contributors to Wikipedia in Arabic, German, Polish, and Persian languages." They found that organizing volunteers to thank others both increased two-week retention of newcomers and experienced contributors by 2 percentage points on average, and caused people to send more thanks to others by 43% on average.

Why It Matters

Examples

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Our Confidence Rating

Likely

We give this rating to interventions that have been tested rigorously by someone who has published their methods and data, but that hasn't been replicated or formally reviewed by peers.

In The Wild

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

Citations

Preprint

Interventional

Altmetric score

June 20, 2020

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

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

Supplemental materials

STUDY DESIGN

Interventional

Interventional studies cover experiments and quasi-experiments. In experiments, individuals meeting eligibility requirements are randomly assigned into an experimental group or a control group. The experimental intervention (protocol, method or treatment) and its alternative(s) are clearly defined and their implementation is closely managed by the researcher. Quasi-experimental studies are empirical studies in which subjects are assigned an intervention, by a non-random method. The researcher may define and manage the alternatives, which could be treatment and control, or two or more different interventions.

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.

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Further Reading

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