What's the tipping point?

Just why do consumers tip? Emma Kennedy looks into the underlying psychological factors behind the practice.

5th May, 2012
In the US, service workers regard highly religious Christians as bad tippers. Photo: Thinkstock

A waitress has come to view it as commonplace, a bus driver would probably be shocked by it, and a hairdresser would consider it a pleasant - but not totally unexpected - surprise.

A host of unwritten rules is attached to giving a tip or gratuity, with huge variations in what's commonly accepted from one country to the next.

Perhaps the biggest question is why we tip. A paper in the Journal of Economic Psychology...

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