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Author Topic: Interesting article: ‘Big Brother’ eyes make us act more honestly  (Read 3247 times)


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‘Big Brother’ eyes make us act more honestly
00:01 28 June 2006
NewScientist.com news service
Debora MacKenzie

We all know the scene: the departmental coffee room, with the price list for tea and coffee on the wall and the “honesty box” where you pay for your drinks – or not, because no one is watching.

In a finding that will have office managers everywhere scurrying for the photocopier, researchers have discovered that merely a picture of watching eyes nearly trebled the amount of money put in the box.

Melissa Bateson and colleagues at Newcastle University, UK, put up new price lists each week in their psychology department coffee room. Prices were unchanged, but each week there was a photocopied picture at the top of the list, measuring 15 by 3 centimetres, of either flowers or the eyes of real faces. The faces varied but the eyes always looked directly at the observer.

In weeks with eyes on the list, staff paid 2.76 times as much for their drinks as in weeks with flowers. “Frankly we were staggered by the size of the effect,” Gilbert Roberts, one of the researchers, told New Scientist.

...[Read the full article at New Scientist]

So, what effect might eyes in the DonationCoder site banner have?


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I don't think it's right to say that the eyes encourage honesty.
They encourage fear.

Fear != honesty.

And eventhough fear might work on some people, I don't think it's a good method at all. It can have some nasty side effects. The Nazi's used fear to control their people. It tends to get out of hand.

Causing fear also causes people to distance themselve from the fear-causer. This damages relationships, and damages the people involved.

What is needed is morality, understanding, and wisdom, and TRUE honesty. Not fear. Fear is the opposite of these.

How do you create true honesty? Connect with people! Help them understand!
Causing fear may be easyer, but in the end it's self-destructive, and all in all bad for the human race.


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thanks for the post dajo - i love articles like these  :up:

it's fascinating when you can find these statistical differences in subconscious behavior that are triggered by things we wouldn't have expected.


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yes i do so agree with gothi on all points.

connecting with people is the more difficult road.
yet in a surprisingly short time, it reveals itself as the easier road.