The credit incentive to be a maverick

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Abstract
There is a commonly made distinction between two types of scientists: risk-taking, trailblazing mavericks and detail-oriented followers. A number of recent papers have discussed the question what a desirable mixture of mavericks and followers looks like. Answering this question is most useful if a scientific community can be steered toward such a desirable mixture. One attractive route is through credit incentives: manipulating rewards so that reward-seeking scientists are likely to form the desired mixture of their own accord. Here I argue that this idea is less straightforward than it may seem. Interpreting mavericks as scientists who prioritize rewards over speed and risk, I show in a deliberatively simple model that there is a fixed mixture which is not particularly likely to be desirable and which credit incentives cannot alter. I consider a way around this result, but this has some major drawbacks. I conclude that credit incentives are not as promising a way to create a desirable mixture of mavericks and followers as one might have thought.
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2019
PhilPapers/Archive ID
HEETCI-2
Revision history
First archival date: 2019-01-10
Latest version: 2 (2019-09-27)
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References found in this work BETA
Against Method.Feyerabend, Paul

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Is Peer Review a Good Idea?Heesen, Remco & Bright, Liam Kofi

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2018-09-27

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