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# Tipping Smiley Faces

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Tipping Smiley Faces
Kameron Coleman
Dr. Lora Jacobi
PSY 133.001 Core Assignment

Tipping Smiley Face

Part 1

The research problem is finding what factors of being a waiter or waitress earn bigger tips. The authors Rind and Bordia conducted an experiment in which a waiter and waitress were to serve customers and have a certain variable affect their tip. In the case of this experiment they used a smiley face on the back of the check.

There were many independent variables that could have been used; the smiley face was used in this case, and also the male and female as a whole. The servers were given fifty 3 x 5 cards. Half the cards had smiley faces drawn on them and the other half did not. They were then randomly shuffled to vary which cards were drawn. When a waiter was to present their check to the diners they would draw a card to determine if a smiley face would be put on the check or not. When presenting the check they were to present the check to every customer with a neutral facial expression to avoid any more contact with the customer and say “Here’s your check” and immediately leave. The only dependent variable was the tip that the waiters earned. The tip percentage was measured by dividing the tip size by the bill amount and then multiplying it by 100.

I believe that the male would receive less on his tips regardless of the smiley face. I believe this is because some customers will perceive this as weird coming from a male, unlike the female. Many might consider the male as homosexual or see the guy in a strange way if they see a smiley face. However, if the female does this they will consider it friendly and something a typical female may do.

As stated earlier the servers would randomly draw a card with or without a smiley face to determine if it would be put on the check. They would then present it to the customer with a blank facial expression and say “Here’s your check,” they would then walk away. At times the waiter may receive confused looks or looks of happiness depending on if the smiley face was on the check. They continued doing this over a 3-day period working the lunch shift from 11 a.m. until 3 p.m.

The graph below shows the average tip percentages of both the waiter and waitress.

According to the data the waitress received more per tip as predicted. The mean of the male’s control (without the smile face) was 21.41 and the standard deviation was 12.64. His mean for the smiley face was 17.78 and the standard deviation was 5.57. The mean of the female’s control was 27.78 and the standard deviation was 7.77. The mean of her smiley face was 33.04 and the standard deviation was 14.02.

Limitations of this experiment included what the waiters wore, the gender of the customers, their personality, their mood and plenty of other factors. Some of these things could have affected how much the customers would have tipped the servers.

Part 2
The research problem is finding if two waiters of different races added the gratuity calculations to a check would they gain a bigger tip from customers. In the experiment conducted two male waiters, African American and White varied on putting the gratuity calculations on the check.
In this experiment the independent variables were adding or not adding gratuity calculations on the check and the races of both waiters. The servers were given two pennies, one with an ink mark and one without. Before they printed the check they would randomly draw a penny from their pocket, if it had an ink dot on it they would put the gratuity calculations on the check. If the penny did not they would not put the gratuity calculations on it. The dependent variable was how much the tip was if any was received. The calculations of the dependent variable were taking the mean and standard deviation of the customers that had the gratuity percent and the ones without and then comparing it from both waiters.
I believe the waiter that was white will gain bigger tips and his checks that have the gratuity calculations will give a bigger tip because they have a guideline of how much to tip.
In a casual restaurant, a study of 500 parties over a one week span. The parties ranged in size from two to eight. A total of 717 customers were served in total. The waiters would serve each customer as they regularly would. The only time each party was different was when the gratuity calculation was randomly chose to be on the check or not. After the party left, the waiter would record the amount of the check and how much the tip was. They would then divide the amount of the tip by the amount of the bill (with taxes) and multiply by 100.
I suspect that the white server will earn higher tips and his checks with the gratuity calculations will have higher tips than the ones without.
These results would vary in every country. It would also vary if more races were involved in a country that is dominated by one race, then that race will most likely receive a higher tip. This would then vary among races and countries. It would also depend on how liked that race is in that certain area.
If I was presenting this information to the public I would blatantly reveal the data and be honest to the public. However, I would keep the group who did the research a secret to avoid mixed views on the group. I would also add more races to show that not only do black and whites have advantages and disadvantages, but also show it for many other races to show which is most likely more liked than the other.

References
Seiter, J., Brownlee, G., Sanders, M. (2011). Persuasion by Way of Example: Does Including Gratuity Guidelines on Customers’ Checks Affect Restaurant Tipping Behavior? Journal of Applied Social Psychology, 41, 150-159.

Rind B., & Bordia, P. (1996). Effect of restaurant tipping on male and female servers drawing a Happy, smiling face on the backs of customers’ checks. Journal of Applied Social
Psychology, 26, 218-225.

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