Recently, there has been increasing evidence showing that cues to being watched influence prosocial behavior. However, these watching-eyes-effects remain controversial, and some studies have failed to find any support. To help understand the boundary conditions of the watching-eyes-effects, we propose that individual differences and the 'specifics' of the information conveyed via the eyes (the gender of the eyes, and the emotion expressed) could play a key role. The goal of this project is to explore the boundary conditions of the watching-eyes-effect and its impact on a variety of actual prosocial behaviors in the laboratory and the field, including donations to charity, blood donations, and volunteering. Moreover, we will examine the skills and motives, such as altruism and social mindfulness, that might help understand the power of 'watching eyes.' Findings from our studies can then be further implemented in campaigns targeted at promoting prosocial behavior in society.
Templeton.org is in English. Only a few pages are translated into other languages.