25 Apr 2013

The eyes have it

No, not more about the parliamentary report!

The BBC reports on experiments done at Newcastle university which showed that posters of eyes above bike racks reduced bike theft.

"Researchers at Newcastle University put the posters up in some areas where bikes were parked, but not in others.

While the thefts dropped in locations with posters, they rose by two-thirds at the racks without."

ITV has a better report here

““We don’t know exactly what is happening here but this just adds to the growing evidence that images of eyes can have a big impact on behaviour.

“We think that the presence of eye images can encourage co-operative behaviour. One strong possibility is that the images of eyes work by making people feel watched. We care what other people think about us, and as a result we behave better when we feel we are being observed.

“The next step would be to increase the scope of the experiment across a citywide area to see if the effect is maintained, but the pattern definitely looks like it is worth exploring further.”

– Professor Daniel Nettle, Lead author of the paper

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