Watchful Eyes Ensures Honesty

by Medindia Content Team on  June 28, 2006 at 11:15 AM Research News
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Watchful Eyes Ensures Honesty
A study suggests that the belief of being watched makes people behave more honestly, even if the eyes are not real.

A Newcastle University team monitored people dropping money in a canteen "honesty box" while they bought a drink.

They observed that people put nearly three times more money when a poster depicting a pair of eyes was pasted above the box than a poster showing flowers.

The poster might have generated a feeling of being watched, as the brain reacts to images of eyes and faces, reported the research team, adding, that this finding could aid anti-social behavior tackling initiatives, and raises the possibility of getting people to behave more pro-socially.

Professor George Fieldman, an evolutionary psychologist from Chilterns University College, Buckinghamshire, said: "It would be interesting to know how one can apply these sorts of findings more generally in organizational structures and in society in general to maximize upon honorable and altruistic behavior."


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