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dexterious's avatar

What motivates people to share their expertise?

Asked by dexterious (17points) July 6th, 2009

I’m doing a study on the incentives that compel people to share their insights and expertise with other people. Is it reward? Altruism? What are the most powerful incentives?

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10 Answers

Open's avatar

I had nothing better to do, and answering people’s questions makes me feel like I’m helping people out, which in turn makes me feel like I accomplished something, which makes me feel good about myself.

JLeslie's avatar

Helping others, and it is nice to be heard.

MrItty's avatar

In my case? 50% boredom, 50% arrogance.

Jeruba's avatar

Are you asking about behavior in the Fluther context or generally? If on Fluther, I don’t know that compel is the right word at all (or if it is, then you’re probably talking about a very small number of people, special cases). I’m not even sure incentives is right, much less “powerful” ones. I’d choose moves or motivates and say “strongest motivations.” When you’re talking about “incentives,” you are talking about rewards and hence something pretty much outside what you’ll find here. There are no rewards here other than entertainment and a certain emotional response to the give-and-take.

Speaking for myself both on Fluther and off, I’d say it feels good to share what you know. It is nice to know that something you have (including knowledge and experience) is valued by others. I believe that many people teach, write books, lead and join self-help and support groups, counsel, and attempt to talk to their children out of similar motivations.

There is also a desire to fill a need, and when a need for help matches help I have to offer, there is no reason to withhold it.

And of course there is the fact that the transaction of giving and receiving help in the form of answers and comments is simply an occasion, an opportunity, for some human interaction, and I think that’s all some of us are really looking for here. That’s why the social aspect to so many questions is so strong.

For some I think there is also validation in persuading others to their point of view and reassurance in testing their experience and conclusions against those of others. Sometimes we find ourselves surprised and corrected instead. Then we are learning, I hope, and that is a good thing too.

lloydbird's avatar

Altruism (Instinctive, Natural and Pragmatic),

Simone_De_Beauvoir's avatar

the reason why I share some experiences is the urgency to help those who don’t need to go through what I have gone through and in turn to risk it all and go through certain things they may be afraid to do because I can say it’s been worth it

The_Compassionate_Heretic's avatar

I see no problem with sharing knowledge that helps people grow as people.

Grisaille's avatar

‘cause I ain’t got nothing better to do.

And I like the regulars here.

kruger_d's avatar

Passing on knowledge is a powerful way of leaving your mark on the world. Watching someone learn can be dramatic.

maryleedy's avatar

I would say for recognition, appreciation, sharing, to feel good, and to learn about oneself and others. Me, for fun and to learn and help others. :-)

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