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Hawthorne Effect

When the act of monitoring someone can affect that person’s behavior. Also known as the Observer Effect.

Hawthorne Effect

In the 1920s at Hawthorne Works, an Illinois factory, a social sciences experiment hypothesised that workers would become more productive following various changes to their environment such as working hours, lighting levels and break times. However, it turned out that what actually motivated the workers’ productivity was someone taking an interest in them. When using human research subjects, it’s important to analyze the resulting data with consideration for the Hawthorne Effect.

Related Reading:

The Hawthorne Effect Harvard Business School and the Hawthorne Experiments (a landmark study of worker behavior at Western Electric; 1924-1933) The Gambler’s Fallacy (aka the Monte Carlo Fallacy) explained [Wikipedia]