If you're like me, you tend to tip more when a waitress has been especially charming and efficient, or none at all when you experience really bad attitude from a cabbie. That's because tipping rewards and promotes good service, right? Think again. Studies show that people still tip when they receive bad service and the amount people give doesn't vary drastically with how satisfied they were with the service, according to SmartMoney.
We're not setting up a very good reward system if we're not following through with tipping more to those who deserve it, which means people don't really have any incentive to provide better service. Giving a little extra when you think a hotel staff member was extremely courteous is probably more tied to being obligated to social norms, rather than encouraging better service.
Tipping also has an emotional factor as well — it can relieve your anger when you feel that you've received horrible treatment or make you feel good when you reward good behavior. Makes you think twice about tipping, doesn't it?