Gamifying with badges: A big data natural experiment on Stack Exchange

Benny Bornfeld, Sheizaf Rafaeli

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Badges are a common gamification mechanism used by many crowd-sourced online systems. This study provides evidence to their effectiveness and measures their effect size using a big data natural experiment in three large Stack Exchange online Q&A sites. We analyze the introduction of 22 different badge-launch events and the resulting changes in user behavior. Consistent with earlier studies, we report that most badge introductions have the desired effect. Going beyond traditional findings on the individual level, this study measures overall badge effect size on the service.

Original languageEnglish
JournalFirst Monday
Issue number6
StatePublished - 1 Jun 2017

Bibliographical note

Publisher Copyright:
© First Monday, 1995-2017.

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Human-Computer Interaction
  • Computer Networks and Communications


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