Recent research indicates that people behave differently when they know they are being watched.  That is true of Ravens as well.  If they know or even think they are being watched when caching food, they either only pretend to cache it or cache it and come back and move it when they are certain they are not being watched.  That’s important since Ravens will steal from one another, sort of like humans.

But not only do we behave differently when we know — or think — we are being watched, we also behave differently if there is a picture of eyes watching.  Some workplaces have coffee machines along with requests that users make a small contribution to help pay for the coffee.  More people contribute if there is a photo of eyes on the wall.  In experiments allowing participants to share benefits with one another or keep them for themselves, more sharing takes place if a photo of eyes is posted in the room where the experiment takes place.  Olivia Judson recently wrote about these experiments and others.

Here is Chuck and he is watching you.


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