Hawthorne Effect


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Related to Hawthorne Effect: placebo effect, Hawthorne studies

Hawthorne Effect

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.
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The Hawthorne effect may have risen to prominence because it had behind it "the power of a good story" But good stories do not good science make.
The time spent in providing personalized feedback offered students the opportunity for more one-on-one interaction with faculty, something considered important according to the Hawthorne effect (Jones, 2007).
Notwithstanding the apparent incongruity, the Hawthorne effect has implications for managers who are trying to lead their employees in difficult times.
The casualties include Festinger's cognitive dissonance, Milgram's obedience to authority, Zimbardo's mock prison, Sherif's and Asch's conclusions about social influences on perception, the Hawthorne effect, Rosenthal's Pygmalion effect, and, more generally, the allegedly pernicious effects of pornography and TV violence.
He will shower those clusters with money and attention and will probably achieve a measure of success, if only as a result of the Hawthorne effect, named for the 1924 study of factory conditions that found that attention from management per se was enough to increase productivity.
There's probably an element of The Hawthorne Effect due to the extra focus on these stores in the trial.
In case you don't know, the Hawthorne effect is the heightened morale and performance that occurs when people are the subject of someone else's attention.
It could have been that (a) the self-instructions kept the golfers focused on what to do rather than on possible negative outcomes or other matters, (b) the self-instructions served to inform the golfers of new methods of putting and thus served primarily as quality instruction, or (c) the self-instructions, being part of a study, had a type of Hawthorne effect in making the golfers try harder.
If you could sustain a Hawthorne effect for an indefinite period of time, you would be in good shape, but we can't seem to do it.
Most managers know about the Hawthorne Effect and have studied it in college or a management class.
The term, Hawthorne effect came from this series of studies and is widely misunderstood in educational circles.