Hawthorne Effect

The Hawthorne effect is when research participants act in a way that is consistent with their perception of the researcher’s expectations during a study, which then biases the outcomes of that research study. For example, imagine that a researcher was conducting a study about one type of helping behavior—door-opening behavior. If participants for some reason know that they were being studied and also know that the purpose of the study is about helping, they may be more likely to help by opening doors for others because that is what they think the researcher expects (regardless of the actual purpose, hypotheses, or methods of the study) rather than walking through the door and paying little attention to whether they should hold it for the next person. ...

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