Would you eat a spider for $100?

By Michael Dermer

Have you ever seen the show Fear Factor? It’s a reality TV staple that puts every day people in extreme situations in order to win a cash prize.

In addition to being entertaining, it’s a great example of finding the correct reward threshold to motivate people to action. What does it take to convince a person to eat a spider or snuggle up with snakes?

If people are willing to do those shudder-worthy activities for $100,000, what dollar amount does it take for an individual to engage in their personal health?

Fortunately it’s a number with a few less zeros than Fear Factor.

A recent study by Aon Hewitt “The Consumer Health Mindset”, sheds some light, not only on the amount it takes, but also what percentage of people would never do targeted healthy behaviors regardless of the amount.

Here is an excerpt of the study; consumers indicated the dollar value of reward it would get them to take certain actions:


Consumers also indicated which behaviors they would do just for the benefit of doing it and things they would never do regardless of reward value:


While these survey results provide interesting insight, the ability to determine the level of effort of the action and the associated dollar value of incentive it takes to drive behavior takes precision and experience.

As experts in incentive design and reward management, we've seen what works and what doesn't. And, we know that nothing is more rewarding for you and your consumers than an incentive plan that works.

That’s why we created this new Guide to Incentive Optimization to share our incentive design expertise with you, including:

  • The 5 factors to incentive optimization
  • How to map effort level to incentive value
  • Consumers' perspective on rewards