Saturday, July 29, 2006

[We] behave nicely when we're being watched.
--Melissa Bateson, behavioral biologist

This was no news to my junior high algebra teacher. Mr. Duran donned a pair of reflecting sunglasses during exams. Never sure just who was under surveillance, we all kept our eyes glued to our test papers.

Ms. Bateson tried a little observation test of her own in the University of Newcastle upon Tyne psychology department. She alternately posted pictures of flowers or eyes near the donation box by the office coffee pot.

During the weeks where eyes gazed down on the scene, donations to the office kitty nearly tripled. She also found that judgmental male eyes elicited a more generous donation compared with flirty female eyes. And the departmental drinkers went back to their ungenerous ways altogether when pretty posies were posted.

I'm going to post eyes by the kitchen sink!

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