A newly-released study by the American Psychological Association has found that Wellesley students are exceptional amongst all college students in their willingness to do anything for a gift card.
“At first, we were just offering the gift cards hoping someone would take the time to participate in our other studies,” said Dr. Angela Wang, one of the authors of the study, “but soon people were fighting for the chance to win them.”
Dr. Wang told The Wellesley News that she realized that there might be something worth studying about this phenomenon when over 200 students responded to her request for five participants. Students found increasingly creative ways to distinguish themselves from the competition in order to be chosen for the study.
“I’m not sure how they found out my address, but I actually had several resumes mailed to my house” Dr. Wang said.
Most of the students who pursued gift cards declined to comment, but Tina Serrano ’21 agreed to speak about her efforts.
“I responded to the email about the psych study right away, but I knew tons of other people would too. I forwarded her a copy of my recent Amazon purchases, so she would know I’d use the gift card responsibly. Then, to really seal the deal, I told her I could convincingly fake any results she wanted!” Serrano said.
While this behavior may be shocking, it’s not the only way that students have surprised researchers in their attempt to win gift cards.
“We made the criteria for getting the gift card more difficult each time. By the end, students had to swim across the lake twice and participate in a Fight Club-style brawl for a $20 gift card,” Dr. Wang said.
When asked what she spent her gift card on, Serrano said, “I sold it on Free and For Sale. I’ll always take cash over gift cards!”`