Does the Honor System Still Work?
When I was visiting Arizona recently, we stayed in Agritopia, which is in the suburb of Gilbert. It’s an oasis in a sea of brown and cactus. Deciduous trees line the streets filled with homes that look like the Midwest, not the desert.
Another surprise is that the market at Agritopia is on the honor system. It’s a quaint little store selling organic produce from the farm at Agritopia and other local products from area retailers. There is no cash register, just a money slot and an iPad for credit cards.
I did see a few camera’s placed around, but other than large windows, there is not much to protect against someone walking off with all the goods.
What they really need are some mirrors.
There was a research project that found if you place mirrors around, people focus on themselves and act more consistent with their values. Children who had the opportunity to take extra Halloween candy did so only 8.9% of the time, compared with 34% in the control study. People littered 46% of the time, but when mirrors were placed around, only 24% of the people littered.
If you can’t get a mirror placed to get people to act more socially conscious, researchers found that a picture of eyes can be just as effective. It seems we really act differently when we are watching ourselves or reminded that others are watching.