Here's today's feel-good story:
The University of Otago has developed new research that finds that if you want someone to assist you with something, it is best to not set a deadline for it. But if you must, it should be a short deadline.
The research consisted of inviting participants to complete an online survey in which a donation will go to charity. The participants had one week, one month, or no deadline to respond to the survey. The responses were the lowest for the one-month deadline and highest for no deadline. The longer the deadline, the more likely it was that the person would procrastinate helping out.
“We interpret this as evidence that specifying a longer deadline, as opposed to a short deadline or no deadline at all, removes the urgency to act, which is often perceived by people when asked to help,” said Professor Stephen Knowles, from the Department of Economics at Otago Business School. “People therefore put off undertaking the task, and since they are inattentive or forget, postponing it results in lower response rates.”