A key part of Balloon's mission is to get the absolute best ideas, information, and feedback from a group. In order to do that, we strive to create true "psychological safety" for all of our users, so that all flight participants have creative freedom and feel confident sharing ideas and feedback. To ensure a positive, collaborative, and productive environment, flight participants can only pump up balloons.
The nitty-gritty, if you're into the nerdy research (we are!):
A 2014 Stanford University-Max Planck Institute study shows that negative feedback (such as pumping down) creates social feedback loops that are hurtful to the community. The study found that users who have negatively-evaluated content will contribute more, but their future posts will be of lower quality and the community will perceive that person's future work as lower quality. Furthermore, authors of negatively-evaluated content are more likely to be antagonistic other contributors' content, spreading negativity to the rest of the group.
If you would like to learn more, the paper titled "How Community Feedback Shapes User Behavior" can be found here.
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