Hawthorne Effect(redirected from Hawthorn effect)
Also found in: Dictionary, Medical, Encyclopedia.
Related to Hawthorn effect: placebo effect, Hawthorne studies
The phenomenon in which subjects of study alter their behavior simply because they are being studied. The Hawthorne effect is important in marketing. For example, test audience members may unintentionally skew their responses one way or another simply because they know they are part of a test audience. The concept originated in 1950 when analysis of a study from the 1920s and 1930s saw that productivity in a factory improved during a study of employees and declined after the study's conclusion.