Friday, July 21, 2006

Fake Eyes Boost Honesty

From the BBC:
The feeling of being watched makes people act more honestly, even if the eyes are not real, a study suggests.

A Newcastle University team monitored how much money people put in a canteen "honesty box" when buying a drink.

They found people put nearly three times as much in when a poster of a pair of eyes was put above the box than when the poster showed flowers.

The brain responds to images of eyes and faces and the poster may have given the feeling of being watched, they say. ***

The scientists believe their findings may have applications in initiatives to curb anti-social behaviour or for law enforcement.

"It does raise the possibility that you could get people to behave more co-operatively or pro-socially by putting up pictures of eyes," said Dr Bateson.

"It would work particularly in instances where people have to make a choice between whether to behave well or badly."
This should substantially improve the veracity in the comments.


Michael said...

On each landing, opposite the lift-shaft, the poster with the enormous face gazed from the wall. It was one of those pictures which are so contrived that the eyes follow you about when you move. BIG BROTHER IS WATCHING YOU, the caption beneath it ran.

NW burbs said...

You'd think then this man would have an effect on Members of Congress. Of course, he's gazing off 'to the horizon'.

Some of his friends should be able to help though...

So-Called Austin Mayor said...


The problem is that too many in the GOP controlled congress are bewitched by the gaze of this portrait of our first president.


Bridget said...

So you're saying I should have big ol' buggy eyes printed on my candidate's contribution envelopes, right? lol


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