1. What do schoolteachers and sumo wrestlers have in common?
Steven D. Levitt and Stephen J. Dubner speak about how humans respond to the power of incentives in this chapter. They explain that depending if there is a benefit or a hindrance, people will either respect or ignore incentives. The authors emphasize in this chapter that, “An incentive is simply a means of urging people to do more of a good thing and less of a bad thing” (17).
This shows the power of incentives and how they cause people to cheat through third grade teachers in Chicago Public Schools. They explain that in order to gain honorable status within a school, teachers must have their class perform well on standardized testing. Because they want recognition and possible a greater wage, teacher are pressured to cheat to help their students pass the test. Teachers were willing to give answers to their students. Also, some teacher would change the students answer after the test. This is an example of, how teachers are responding to the incentive of getting better test results in order to receive certain benefits.
The authors also explain the affects of incentives on people through a day care center in Israeli. They describe that a day care center was trying to prevent parents from picking up their children late. In order to do so, the day care imposed a small fine on all late parents. Because the fine was small, parents did not respond to that incentive like the daycare thought they would. Therefore, the day care raised the fine to a larger amount to show the parents how serious they were. This time, due to the fine increase, the parents began picking up their children on time to avoid the fine.
Incentives also influenced the world of sumo wrestlers in Japan. The authors describe how sumo wrestling is more than just a sport in Japan; that in fact it a symbol of honor. Sumo wrestlers, who have been able to reach the top, find ways to make it to the top. These sumo wrestlers then make deals with...