Does Technological Surveillance Change Behavior
Technical Report,01 Jan 2016,31 Dec 2016
OXFORD UNIV (UNITED KINGDOM) OXFORD United Kingdom
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Eye cues have been shown to stimulate rapid, reflexive, unconscious processing and in many experimental settings seem to cue increased prosocial and decreased anti-social behaviour. Eye cues are being widely applied in public policy to reduce crime and antisocial behaviour. Recently, failed replication attempts and two meta-analyses examining the eye cue effect on generosity have raised doubts regarding earlier findings. Much of the wider evidence on eye cues has still not been systematically reviewed, notably that which is most relevant to its practical application the effect of eye cues on anti-social behaviour. Given the evidence of humans greater sensitivity to threat and negative information, we hypothesized that the watching eyes effect would be more consistent in studies examining anti-social behaviour. In our meta-analysis of 14 experiments from 11 research papers we report a reduction in the risk frequency of anti-social behaviour of 32 when eye cues are present. By contrast, systematic reviews have suggested CCTV cameras reduce crime by only 16. We conclude that there is sufficient evidence of a watching eyes effect on anti-social behaviour to justify their use in the very low-cost and potentially high-impact real-world interventions that are proliferating in public policy.
- Sociology and Law