A stand-alone button, or reaction, which enables users to express thanks and gratitude.
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.
This works as either a react icon for when users may 'like' content, or as a stand-alone button beneath content.
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.
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.
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.
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!Email us
Innoculates users against misinformation