David Frank, a senior at Kennedy High School, was listed as the sole author of a research project recently published in the “International Journal of Hospitality Management.”
Frank is the first student at Kennedy to have received the honor of a sole publication.
His project, “To Gift or Not to Gift: How Providing a Memento Affects a Restaurant Magician’s Tips,” examines the psychology behind tipping behavior and the generalizability of a published tip enhancing technique that is based on the “norm of reciprocity” — the idea that we feel a social obligation to repay what other people have given us. As a professional magician, Frank collected data for his study by performing magic at a local restaurant.
Tipping “is an important source of income for many service workers, who would benefit from a better understanding of things they can do to increase their customers’ ‘tips,’” according to his abstract.
His findings indicate that a magician receives more frequent and larger tips when he provides customers with a souvenir playing card. Specifically, it provides evidence that the aforementioned effects of giving gifts on tipping are reliable and that they generalize to a wide array of service contexts.
In addition, this past July, Frank was invited by the Science of Magic Association to present his research at their international science convention. He is currently completing another project related to his recent publication.