Groove Track | Tale of Two Markets: Do We Help People Only For Money Or Candy?

Would you help change a stranger’s tire? How about if they offered you $20? Or, what if instead of money, they offered you some candy?

We often think these types of exchanges are financial in nature – but this study explored how there is actually a different type of exchange going on here – a social exchange. When we help a friend move some furniture, invite friends over for dinner, help a stranger out who is in need – these are social exchanges in a social market, one that is separate from the financial market. And what’s even more interesting is that if you bring money into the social exchange, it falls apart.

James Heyman and Dan Ariely explored this phenomena in their landmark study called, “Effort for Payment: A Tale of Two Markets” and is the basis for Kurt and Tim taking a deep look in this Groove Track.

Listen to find out the backstory to the study and the implications from the findings. You can also watch a special video recording of this Groove Track with Kurt and Tim on the Behavioral Grooves YouTube Channel.


Heyman, J., & Ariely, D. (2004). Effort for Payment: A Tale of Two Markets. Psychological Science: https://doi.org/10.1111/j.0956-7976.2004.00757.x

Behavioral Grooves on YouTube: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=jkmH8St_nsA&ab_channel=BehavioralGrooves

AIRDATE: November 17, 2022 EPISODE 329

This episode also available via:

Groove Track | Tale of Two Markets: Do We Help People Only For Money Or Candy?

Featured Guest

Kurt Nelson PhD & Tim Houlihan