Free Money

2007 January 18


When I saw Google yesterday offering a free 10 dollars for the taking, it reminded me of an experiment on law8 by my wacky friend Prof. Dan Ariely. He did an experiment where he set up a table in a public space with a bowl containing cash and a sign that said, "Free Money." Dan found that with a pile of one-dollar bills, 10% of the passerbys would stop and take the cash; with fifty-dollar bills, only 22% took him up on his offer. His point was that "If someone is offering me something free, there must be a trick to it."

We can be cynical in life, and assume that there really is no thing as a totally "free lunch." To complete mis- law8everything around you can probably lead to a lonely state of being. Well, in another browser window there I am about to "Sign up to earn [my] $10 bonus." Free money is only a click away.