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What is Reciprocity?

This principle states that humans are hardwired to repay what another person has given us. In fact, according to sociologist Alvin Gouldner, every single recorded human society subscribes to this rule. 

Reciprocity in the Real World

Consider a famous example - the Hare Krishnas and their flowers.  After coming to the U.S. in the 1970s and initially failing to successfully solicit donations by asking directly, the sect tried a new tactic. They began giving out books, religious texts, and flowers to passersby. The group found that donations suddenly skyrocketed because people felt compelled to return this gift in kind - through a donation. 

Hare Krishna Reciprocity

Types of Reciprocity

Types of Reciprocity

Example Vault: Reciprocity

Reciprocity: DuoLingo
Reciprocity: GoToMeeting
Reciprocity: McDonald’s
Reciprocity: Creative Market
Reciprocity: Peloton
Reciprocity: Starbucks Loyalty