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An apple a day...

An apple a day...

In line with behavioral theory, a researcher from Harvard University found that when individuals are given rewards for group cooperation, they respond more effectively than when they are punished for ineffective behaviors.  This study has many implications for any time that groups of humans interact for a common goal.  One of the implications I thought of was for America’s current insurance model.  Doctors get paid when people are sick.  What would happen if physicians were paid on the basis of their client’s wellness?  Although many Americans seem to have a laissez faire approach to wellness and that would certainly provide an extenuating circumstance for doctors paid under my purposed model, I think that the systemic change brought about by rewarding wellness instead of sickness would make the change worthwhile.  Preventative care would be at the forefront of our health model.  In addition to promising care in the case of emergency situations, hospitals would guarantee a yearly medical exam and biannual teeth cleanings.  How would our healthcare system change if we rewarded healthy behaviors as opposed to heaping additional punishment on unhealthy ones?

Harvard University (2009, September 4). Carrots Are Better Than Sticks For Building Human Cooperation, Study Finds. ScienceDaily. Retrieved September 7, 2009, from http://www.sciencedaily.com­ /releases/2009/09/090903163550.htm

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