Manfred Milinski and Bettina Rockenbach report in a recent perspective article in Science on the impact of feeling being watched on cooperation in social dilemmas. Even when images of eyes are used in the experimental environment, cooperation increases. This effect is used in various artifacts like he totem poles in North America (see picture left).
In field experiments CSID and colleagues are doing in Thailand and Colombia it seems from prelimenary data that Thai communities were more cooperative. Was this caused by the picture of the royal family that is present in each public space in Thailand, including the locations where the experiments were done?