Is the watching-eye effect a fluke?

  • Ryo Oda Nagoya Institute of Technology


The watching-eye effect is a phenomenon wherein artificial surveillance cues enhance prosocial behavior toward strangers. Two meta-analyses on the effect, which focused on generosity measured by donations and economic games, suggest that artificial surveillance cues do not influence the donation amount. However, the factors possibly affecting the watching-eye effect should be examined more carefully. The most important factor that can bias results is the number of people around when the participants make a donation decision.

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