Data for: Do 'Watching Eyes' Influence Antisocial Behaviour? A Systematic Review & Meta-Analysis

Published: 23 March 2019| Version 1 | DOI: 10.17632/n8pxptkmfj.1
Keith Dear, Kevin Dutton, Elaine Fox


Data supporting meta-analysis and systematic review of the 'Watching Eyes' effect on anti-social behaviour, accepted for publication in Evolution & Human Behaviour. The paper systematically reviews the eye cue literature noting failed replication attempts, and two meta-analyses which raise doubts about the reproducibility of the watching eyes effect on generosity. However, it also highlights that 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 antisocial behaviour. Given the evidence of humans' heightened sensitivity to threat and negative information, it is hypothesized that the watching eyes effect would be more consistent on antisocial behaviour. In a meta-analysis of 15 experiments from 13 research papers we find a reduction in the risk of antisocial behaviour of 35% when eye cues are present. By contrast, reviews suggest that CCTV cameras reduce crime by only 16%. Our meta-analytic evidence for a watching eyes effect on antisocial behaviour is sufficient to justify the use of eye cues in the very low-cost and potentially high-impact real-world interventions that are proliferating in public policy, particularly in the UK.



Applied Psychology, Behavioral Psychology