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The Psychology Of Tipping: Driven By Guilt Or Reward For Good Service?

Expert Says Don't Feel Obligated, But Just Give What Makes You Feel Good
(credit: Clipart.com)

(credit: Clipart.com)

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NEW YORK (CBSNewYork) — When it comes to tipping, it used to be expected for a job well done at restaurants and hair salons.

But these days, that little extra is expected just about everywhere and some people say they’re at the tipping point.

“It’s gotten a little out of control. I think people are expecting more,” West Village resident Caroline Faulkner told CBS 2’s Cindy Hsu on Thursday.

You’ll find tip jars just about everywhere and there are even the “dip jars” to give a quick $1 tip with your credit card.

Brad Newton said he normally tips 20 percent for good service at restaurants, but draws the line at fast food spots and coffee shops.

“I kind of feel bad sometimes because you see the barista or whatever look at you, like ‘uh huh’ you didn’t put anything in there. You know you didn’t do anything,” Newton, of New Jersey, said.

Some people told CBS 2’s Hsu they get annoyed when it comes to cab rides, where the fares have gone up and the “tip rate” that pops-up on the screen starts at 20 percent.

But Mourad Bouamrane, who’s been driving for 14 years, said riders are still giving.

“The tipping is good, steady. The rate is higher so you get more tip,” Bouamrane said.

Sagi Palatty said many are struggling to make minimum wage, and tips are what they count on.

“Some places they pay like $5 an hour and they share that pool of tips,” Palatty said.

Louise Cazley said she always leaves a gratuity, but more out of guilt than great service.

“I just think I’m too nice. Even if I feel the service wasn’t good, I’ll still pay for the service,” Cazely said. “I won’t complain, I just know I won’t go back to that place again.”

Psychologist Dr. Jennifer Harstein said don’t feel obligated.

“It’s really important to recognize why you’re doing it. Are you doing it because you want to or are you doing it because you have to? And if you have to, check that and recognize you don’t have to feel guilty for making a choice not to do something,” Harstein said.

Harstein said her biggest tip is to give what makes you feel good.

While the practice of tipping is prevalent in the United States, in many countries around the world it’s not expected and in some places, even considered offensive.

So do you tip out of guilt or as a reward for good service?  Share your thoughts below…