All of rlingle's Comments + Replies

Defeating Ugh Fields In Practice

Nothing except for large segments of the population that will revolt at the very idea. Politicians win by promising to be "tough on crime" regardless of the real result. People like to think most others are much, much worse humans; and they like to see them punished for it to reinforce their belief. Paying a drug addict to get clean won't be popular, but paying people for driving "normally" won't fare much better.

I agree, though, we would ideally keep some/most existing laws and fines while cutting back on the number of officer-hours to make the immediate costs balance.

6Nanani11yPaying a drug addict to get clean isn't rewarding good behavior so much as rewarding the cessation of bad behavior. This has clear problems. For one thing, it isn't random like the "follow the speed limit for a chance at a small reward" scheme. A true equivalent would be rewarding random people for not being on drugs, including the population of former addicts that have since gone clean. Being on drugs would be a garantee of not getting this reward.
Defeating Ugh Fields In Practice

Since positive reinforcement is generally more effective than punishment, we could apply this idea across society.

Why pay police officers to sit on the side of the road all day, pulling over speeders and writing citations? How about automated cameras that can randomly reward drivers with $10-$20 for driving the speed limit? Shouldn't we expect more safe drivers and less overall expense?

Even if it were proven effective, the reason it won't take off with traffic or medication is that most people want to see wrong-doers punished more than they want to see le... (read more)

2[anonymous]10yI've heard that in some places they have deliberately unrealistically low speed limits because fines are a sizeable fraction of the municipality's revenues.
4patrissimo11ySure this applies to punishments in society, but for self-motivation it is the opposite. I want my self-motivation to be fun not punitive.
3alexflint11yIn the OP's examples, the reward (watching movies) was designed to reinforce behaviour which the protagonist recognised as rational (taking meds). People who speed might rationally (perhaps even correctly) believe that speeding is rational, so the reward (small lottery ticket) could be trying to fight against against the rational desired action. Do you think it would still work?
3CronoDAS11yI seem to recall reading about this actually being tried, with the crime in question being not cleaning up after one's dog.
3DSimon11yThere's nothing stopping us from combining positive and negative reinforcement. I think it would be a pretty easy sell to propose adding the random, small no-speeding rewards without removing the existing laws and fines.