View topic - Sometime I am too lazy to study - so I am building StudyPact
Sometimes I have a hard time to stay motivated to study. So I started to build a website called StudyPact (http://www.studypact.com). The idea is to motivate yourself by betting money on it. After each week, all the people who studied will get their split of the studypact pot which is payed by the people who didnt study.
What do you think?
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It should be effective, if the site ever gets properly established, which is going to be difficult. You need all sorts of legal and financial framework to take escrow of people's money.
However, there was an episode of NPR's Radio Lab that discussed this kind of motivational psychology. It started with a story about a woman who had been active in the equal rights movement, and was all sort of left-leaning... and couldn't quit smoking. She gave $5000 into the custody of her best friend, with instructions that it be donated to the KKK if she ever smoked again. The fear of that happening got her to quit smoking (of course, it also cost her $5000 to quit smoking since that money will presumably be held by her friend until one of them passes away.) Check out the episode anyway.
I'm not sure that losing a small amount of money (and to people that do study!) is sufficient to motivate people to study if they wouldn't otherwise. Also, I don't see what will stop unscrupulous people from registering as dedicated studiers and faking their efforts. In fact, I think you must assume that all results are self-reported, because you're never going to be able to securely monitor people's study habits. And I think framing it as a bet against other people about studying may run you afoul of online gambling laws.
Also I think you need to take to a lawyer and an accountant before you post on any more learning sites, and definitely before you accept any money.
I also think there's a site out there that does this in a more general fashion, ie, holds your money in escrow until you tell them whether or not you kept a promise to yourself, and then returns it to you or sends it on (usually to a charity) depending on your answer. I can't remember their name, or even if they were just another 'we plan to do this' that I heard in an interview somewhere.
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There is also the obvious problem that people will lie about whether they studied if it means they can make some money. (Indeed, they might not even be studying anything at all and just be in it for the money.) I don't think the concept is workable unless you can't make more than what you put into it (in which case it might not be considered gambling, but you'd certainly need a lawyer to examine the hell out of the idea).
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