web analytics
July 26, 2014 / 28 Tammuz, 5774
Israel at War: Operation Protective Edge
 
 
At a Glance
InDepth
Sponsored Post
IDC Advocacy Room IDC Fights War on Another Front

Student Union opens ‘hasbara’ room in effort to fill public diplomacy vacuum.



Home » InDepth » Op-Eds »

A Silent But Effective Crimebuster


I recently read a truly fascinating study. It wasn’t a new study, but nonetheless it affected me.

A team from England’s Newcastle University monitored how much money people would put in a canteen “honesty box” when buying a drink. Over the course of 10 weeks, a poster listing hot drink prices was placed at eye-level above the honesty box. Each week, the poster featured an image of either flowers or a pair of eyes looking directly at the person taking the items.

At the end of every week, the team calculated the total amount of money collected and the amount of drink most likely to have been consumed.

Dr. Melissa Bateson, the lead author of the study, said: “We found that people paid 2.76 times as much money when we put a notice on the wall that featured a pair of eyes as opposed to when the image was of some flowers. Although it was just a photocopied black and white poster, we know that people’s brains are set up to process faces and eyes, and that is probably because it is very important for us to know if we are being watched by other people.”

Perhaps reading about this program affected me so much because of my involvement and interest in the ongoing movement to pass a law calling for a mandatory moment of silence in the New York State public school system.

Much as with the eyes experiment, I have learned over time that if children are given a moment to contemplate a greater power or reflect on man’s accountability, their behavior improves because of the knowledge of the “eye that sees.”

A story I often share concerns a friend who taught 4th grade in an inner city public school. He had a difficult time with discipline and decided to try a different tactic. He explained to his class about an “eye that sees” and an “ear that hears” and that all our deeds are recorded. He then would start his class with a moment of silence.

That one moment of introspection made a tremendous difference in the behavior of the class. This teacher in the inner city school system, who took it upon himself to implement a moment of silence in his classroom, found a drastic change not only in the students’ behavior but also in their scholastic achievement. The difference was so powerful that the principal, at first a skeptic, decided to go along with the teacher’s method.

Despite the implementation of a wide variety of violence prevention programs, there has been an upsurge across the country in the number of youthful offenders – the striking exception being almost all those states that have implemented a mandatory moment of silence in schools.

Two good examples are New Jersey and Massachusetts. In 2000, New Jersey mandated a moment of silence in its public school system at the start of each school day. Statistics show that over the next several years New Jersey’s juvenile crime rate decreased by more than 11 percent. Massachusetts, meanwhile, has seen a nearly 15 percent decrease in juvenile crime since ratifying a mandatory moment of silence in its public school system.

Such laws have been upheld as constitutional in many states. U.S. District Judge Claude M. Hilton, in a 15-page decision in favor of a similar law in Virginia, wrote, in part:

 

The court finds that the Commonwealth’s daily observance of one minute of silence…is constitutional. The act was enacted for a secular purpose, does not advance or inhibit religion, nor is there excessive entanglement with religion .… Students may think as they wish – and this thinking can be purely religious in nature or purely secular in nature. All that is required is that they sit silently.

 

The eye-poster experiment brings home a striking message. When people feel that there is an “eye that sees,” their behavior improves. Studies show that if children are given a moment to contemplate the “eye that sees,” that alone can help them focus on responsible behavior and bring down juvenile crime statistics. Children need a moment of silence in school to contemplate accountability – to ponder an “eye that sees” and an “ear that hears.”

About the Author:


If you don't see your comment after publishing it, refresh the page.

Our comments section is intended for meaningful responses and debates in a civilized manner. We ask that you respect the fact that we are a religious Jewish website and avoid inappropriate language at all cost.

If you promote any foreign religions, gods or messiahs, lies about Israel, anti-Semitism, or advocate violence (except against terrorists), your permission to comment may be revoked.

No Responses to “A Silent But Effective Crimebuster”

Comments are closed.

SocialTwist Tell-a-Friend

Current Top Story
John Kerry
Entire Israeli Cabinet Rejects Kerry’s Proposed Ceasefire, Talks Continue
Latest Indepth Stories
Jewish Home leader Naftali Bennett

Because let’s face it: Hamas obviously can’t defeat the IDF in the field, soldier against soldier

Shimon Peres meets with the family of fallen IDF soldier Max Steinberg.

As Peres retires, Israel fights sour legacy: Insistence on setting policy in line with hopes, rather than with reality.

Keeping-Jerusalem

Our capital was not arbitrarily chosen, as capitals of some other nations were.

UNHRC High Commissioner Navi Pillay accuses the IDF of possible war crimes in Gaza again, cutting slack to Hamas.

There is much I can write you about what is going here, but I am wondering what I should not write. I will start by imagining that I am you, sitting at home in the Los Angeles area and flipping back and forth between the weather, traffic reports, the Ukraine, Mexican illegals and Gaza. No […]

Should Jews in Europe take more responsibility in self-defense of community and property?

It is time for a total military siege on Gaza; Nothing should enter the Gaza Strip.

Germany’s The Jewish Faith newspaper ominously noted, “We Jews are in for a war after the war.”

The truth is we seldom explore with kids what prayer is supposed to be about.

Almost as one, Jews around the world are acknowledging the day-to-day peril facing ordinary Jews in Israel and the extraordinary service of the IDF in protecting them.

So on the one hand Secretary Kerry makes no bones about who is at fault for the current hostilities: he clearly blames Hamas.

King Solomon said it long ago: “Cast your bread upon the waters” because you don’t know when you’ll hit something. Our job is to do.

The anti-Israel camp does not need to win America fully to its side. Merely to neutralize it would radically alter the balance of power and put Israel in great jeopardy.

More Articles from Rabbi Shea Hecht

I recently read a truly fascinating study. It wasn’t a new study, but nonetheless it affected me.

A team from England’s Newcastle University monitored how much money people would put in a canteen “honesty box” when buying a drink. Over the course of 10 weeks, a poster listing hot drink prices was placed at eye-level above the honesty box. Each week, the poster featured an image of either flowers or a pair of eyes looking directly at the person taking the items.

    Latest Poll

    Do you think the FAA ban on US flights to Israel is political?






    View Results

    Loading ... Loading ...

Printed from: http://www.jewishpress.com/indepth/opinions/a-silent-but-effective-crimebuster/2007/03/21/

Scan this QR code to visit this page online: