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Cues of being watched enhance cooperation in a real-world setting

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  • M Bateson
  • D Nettle
  • G Roberts
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    Abstract

    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.

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    File URL: http://karlan.yale.edu/fieldexperiments/papers/00214.pdf
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    Bibliographic Info

    Paper provided by The Field Experiments Website in its series Natural Field Experiments with number 00214.

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    Date of creation: 2006
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    Handle: RePEc:feb:natura:00214

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    Web page: http://www.fieldexperiments.com

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    Cited by:
    1. Mathias Ekström, 2012. "Do watching eyes affect charitable giving? Evidence from a field experiment," Experimental Economics, Springer, vol. 15(3), pages 530-546, September.
    2. Andries Richter & Daan van Soest & Johan Grasman, 2013. "Contagious Cooperation, Temptation, and Ecosystem Collapse," Working Papers 2013.36, Fondazione Eni Enrico Mattei.
    3. Boero, Riccardo & Bravo, Giangiacomo & Castellani, Marco & Squazzoni, Flaminio, 2009. "Reputational cues in repeated trust games," Journal of Behavioral and Experimental Economics (formerly The Journal of Socio-Economics), Elsevier, vol. 38(6), pages 871-877, December.
    4. De Cremer, David & Dijk, Eric van, 2009. "Paying for sanctions in social dilemmas: The effects of endowment asymmetry and accountability," Organizational Behavior and Human Decision Processes, Elsevier, vol. 109(1), pages 45-55, May.
    5. Simon Gaechter & Benedikt Herrmann, 2008. "Reciprocity, culture, and human cooperation: Previous insights and a new cross-cultural experiment," Discussion Papers 2008-14, The Centre for Decision Research and Experimental Economics, School of Economics, University of Nottingham.
    6. Stringham, Edward Peter, 2011. "Embracing morals in economics: The role of internal moral constraints in a market economy," Journal of Economic Behavior & Organization, Elsevier, vol. 78(1-2), pages 98-109, April.
    7. Dolan, P. & Hallsworth, M. & Halpern, D. & King, D. & Metcalfe, R. & Vlaev, I., 2012. "Influencing behaviour: The mindspace way," Journal of Economic Psychology, Elsevier, vol. 33(1), pages 264-277.
    8. DECLERCK, Carolyn H. & BOONE, Christophe & KIYONARI, Toko, 2011. "No place to hide: When shame causes proselfs to cooperate," Working Papers 2011018, University of Antwerp, Faculty of Applied Economics.
    9. Rigdon, Mary & Ishii, Keiko & Watabe, Motoki & Kitayama, Shinobu, 2008. "Minimal Social Cues in the Dictator Game," MPRA Paper 8439, University Library of Munich, Germany.
    10. Diane Reyniers & Richa Bhalla, 2013. "Reluctant altruism and peer pressure in charitable giving," Judgment and Decision Making, Society for Judgment and Decision Making, vol. 8(1), pages 7-15, January.
    11. Ulf Liebe & Veronika A. Andorfer & Patricia A. Gwartney & Jürgen Meyerhoff, 2014. "Ethical Consumption and Social Context: Experimental Evidence from Germany and the United States," University of Bern Social Sciences Working Papers 7, University of Bern, Department of Social Sciences.
    12. Ali Ahmed & Mats Hammarstedt, 2011. "The effect of subtle religious representations on cooperation," International Journal of Social Economics, Emerald Group Publishing, vol. 38(11), pages 900-910, October.
    13. Tore Ellingsen & Magnus Johannesson, 2007. "Paying Respect," Journal of Economic Perspectives, American Economic Association, vol. 21(4), pages 135-150, Fall.
    14. Björn Frank, 2009. "Clean Evidence on Face-to-Face: Why Experimental Economics is of Interest to Regional Economists," MAGKS Papers on Economics 200904, Philipps-Universität Marburg, Faculty of Business Administration and Economics, Department of Economics (Volkswirtschaftliche Abteilung).
    15. Burnham, Terence C., 2013. "Toward a neo-Darwinian synthesis of neoclassical and behavioral economics," Journal of Economic Behavior & Organization, Elsevier, vol. 90(S), pages S113-S127.
    16. Edna Ullmann-Margalit, 2008. ""We the Big Brother" Or The Curious Incident of the Camera in the Kitchen," Discussion Paper Series dp480, The Center for the Study of Rationality, Hebrew University, Jerusalem.
    17. Valeria Faralla & Alessandro Innocenti & Eva Venturini, 2013. "Risk Taking and Social Exposure," Labsi Experimental Economics Laboratory University of Siena 046, University of Siena.

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