Want someone to be honest? Tape eyeballs all around them.

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New Scientist has a fascinating article about honesty in the office coffee room. Offices across America commonly have baskets or "honesty boxes" where employees can pay for the coffee and tea they drink. And there's often a sheet with a price list next to the drinks. So a psychologist at Newcastle University in the UK decided to see if putting different pictures at the top of the price list would affect how much was received in those honesty boxes. Some days she'd put a picture of flowers on the list and other days she'd put a photocopy of a real pair of human eyes (which were always looking directly at the observer). And on the days she used the eyes, she found 2.76 times as much money as the flower days! The mental_floss staff is now freaked out by all the eyeballs I'm taping inside the refrigerator in the office kitchen.

 

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June 28, 2006 - 2:56am
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