[audio-pals] Researchers Explore the Best Way to Get Free Pizza

  • From: "Ray T. Mahorney" <mahorney.r.t@xxxxxxxxxxxxxx>
  • To: <audio-pals@xxxxxxxxxxxxx>
  • Date: Sat, 31 May 2014 21:48:17 -0000


The Internet is our lifeline-whether staying connected with childhood friends, 
reading the latest
news, or hitting up strangers for a pizza pie.

Reddit, famous for its voting system and AMA celebrity sessions, also boasts 
the popular Random Acts
of Pizza (RAOP) section, where anyone can request a cheesy meal, in hopes that 
a kind-hearted
community member will deliver (figuratively or literally).

Whether you're a cash-strapped college student or a pregnant woman craving 
mushrooms, anchovies, and
tomato sauce, ask nicely and someone may decide to send you a pizza.

But why would a complete stranger shell out $15 to feed you? That's exactly 
what a recent Stanford
University study wants to know. Focused on the altruistic RAOP community, 
report authors wanted to
understand what motivates people to give when they know they will not receive.

Based on 5,728 successful pizza requests, the Stanford team uncovered several 
factors, including
politeness (don't badmouth the philanthropist who just bought you dinner), 
evidentiality (the more
you need the pizza, the more likely you are to get one), sentiment (a few 
slices for the unemployed
is more likely than the birthday boy), and similarity (a fellow artist may be 
more inclined to
support your eating habits).

Really desperate for a hand-tossed pizza? Try posting a photo with your 
message-maybe an image of
your sad-looking kids or empty fridge. Or make the promise to "pay it forward" 
after receiving your
pie (and then actually do).

Perhaps put a little extra effort into your request by writing a longer script 
about how your life
is in shambles since being laid off, and you can barely feed your cat (photo 
op), and the one thing
that might make you smile since your grandfather passed away last week is a 
large, thin-crust
Hawaiian pizza.

One word of advice: Don't complain that you're simply craving a pizza. 
According to the study, the
"job," "money," and "family" narratives tend to increase success, while the 
"craving" narrative has
a strongly negative influence.

"Online platforms have created a new mechanism for people to seek aid from 
other users," the
Stanford report said, pointing to online communities like Q&A sites or 
philanthropy groups, which
are created for the express purpose of helping people.

"However, the factors that lead to requests being fulfilled are still largely 
unknown," the study
said. "We attribute this to the fact that the study of how one should ask for a 
favor is often
complicated by large effects of what the requester is actually asking for."

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