The influence of the presentation of camera surveillance on cheating and pro-social behavior

Anja M. Jansen* (Corresponding Author), Ellen Giebels, Thomas J.L. van Rompay, Marianne Junger

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleAcademicpeer-review

18 Citations (Scopus)
137 Downloads (Pure)


Introduction: This study is aimed at gaining more insight into the effects of camera-surveillance on behavior. It investigates the effects of three different ways of "framing" camera presence on cheating behavior and pro-social behavior. First, we explore the effect of presenting the camera as the medium through which an intimidating authority watches the participant. Second, we test the effect of presenting the camera as being a neutral, non-intimidating viewer. Third, we investigate the effect of watching oneself via a camera. In contrast to most studies on camera surveillance, we will conduct our experiments in an indoor setting. We also explore possible interaction effects of personality traits; we measured Locus of Control, Need for Approval, Self-Monitoring and Social Value Orientation. Methods: In this experiment participated 86 students, randomly distributed over four conditions: three different ways of framing the camera presence, plus a control condition. Our main dependent variables were various kinds of cheating and pro-social behavior. We established the participant's relevant personality traits using a classification tree. Results: For cheating behavior, findings showed that in the "authorative" way of framing camera presence and in the situation in which participants viewed themselves, participants cheated significantly less compared to a situation without camera-surveillance. We did not find significant effects of camera surveillance on pro-social behavior. Looking at personality traits, we found an indication that people with an internal locus of control are more inclined to cheat when there is no camera present compared to people with an external locus of control. However, the effects of our manipulations were stronger. Conclusion: Our findings support the idea that the framing of a camera's presence does indeed influence cheating behavior, adding to the preventive effects of camera-surveillance. Additionally, this study provides some valuable insights into the influence of camera presence on behavior in general.

Original languageEnglish
Article number1937
JournalFrontiers in psychology
Issue numberOCT
Publication statusPublished - 16 Oct 2018


  • CCTV
  • Cheating behavior
  • Crime prevention
  • Mirrors
  • Observation
  • Self-monitoring


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