A behavioral experiment that tells us about the role of unconscious perception, particularly the perception of human eyes, on human social behavior.
Cues of being watched enhance cooperation in a real-world setting
Bateson, M., Nettle, D., & Roberts, G. (2006). Cues of being watched enhance cooperation in a real-world setting. Biology Letters, 2(3), 412–414. https://doi.org/10.1098/rsbl.2006.0509
- We examined the effect of an image of a pair of eyes on contributions to an honesty box used to collect money for drinks in a university coffee room. People paid nearly three times as much for their drinks when eyes were displayed rather than a control image. This finding provides the first evidence from a naturalistic setting of the importance of cues of being watched, and hence reputational concerns, on human cooperative behaviour.
- Concepts Cooperation, Social cognition, Social dilemma
- Relevant learning goals Cooperation Competency, Evaluation Competency
- Relevant subject areas Civics, Ethics, Social Studies
- Relevant research methods Behavioral research/Psychology