The mere suggestion that someone was watching encouraged greater honesty

The mere suggestion that someone was watching

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the eyes were replaced by a poster of flowers. The mere suggestion that someone was watching encouraged greater honesty. (Assuming that the eyes did not lead people to overpay, the study also implies a disturbing level of routine dishonesty.) We might also become more altruistic. Dale Miller, a professor of organizational 25 behavior at Stanford University, has pointed out that Americans assume a "norm of self-interest" that makes acting altruistically seem odd or even irrational. Yet Ameri- cans perform altruistic acts all the time, and bringing those acts to light might break down the norm that curtails our generosity. Consistent with that hypothesis, re- searchers at the University of Pennsylvania found that people are likely to give more to listener-sp011sored radio stations when they are told that other callers are giving above-average donations. Similarly, when utility companies send customers a com- parison of their energy use with the average in their neighborhood, customers with above-average use reduce their consumption. The world before WikiLeaks and Face book may have seemed a more secure place, but to say whether it was a better world is much more difficult. Will fewer children ultimately die from poverty in Kenya because WikiLeaks released the report on cor- ruption? Will life in the Middle East improve as a result of the revolutions to which WikiLeaks and social media contributed? As the Chinese communist leader Zhou Enlai responded when asked his opinion of the French Revolution of 1789, it is too soon to say. The way we answer the question will depend on whether we share Assange's belief that decision-making leads to better outcomes when based on the truth than when based on lies and ignorance. Exploring Context 1. Locate and then review the privacy policy at Facebook or some other site you fre- quently use. How does the content of that policy relate to Singer's arguments about our willingness to disclose information about ourselves? Given Singer's examples, do you think any privacy policy can protect you? Use your response to Question 1 of Ques- tions for Critical Reading in forming your answer.
~ ~ 432 Peter Singer 2. Explore the Web site for Wikileaks (wikileaks.org). Use what you find there to argue whether or not the site threatens or supports democracy. Incorporate your work from Question 3 of Questions for Critical Reading.

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