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Nice combination of old and new research articles, Derek. You correctly identify that once the hygiene level of cash motivation has been achieved, other more "social" elements come into play as more effective behavioral reinforcement drivers.

One of the greatest self-limiting characteristics of money as a reward tool is the social unacceptability of bragging about cash earnings. It is considered rude, boorish and impolite to crow about a big bonus, for example, even in the US, where such egoism is more acceptable than anywhere else. But if the company awarded your family a few days at Disneyland as the prize for some great achievement, THAT is considered perfectly proper and can be openly shared without fear of recrimination.

The part in the new research about how money is less effective in the US than in any other country is quite fascinating. Many theories could explain that. Perhaps foreign cultures are more class-conscious, and cash is the entry ticket for greater acceptability, where the US eschews such obvious class distinctions based on money alone. Or it could be many other things...

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