Hawthorne Effect and My Idea

The Hawthorne effect relates to my project as it is about how humans behaviour changes when they are being watched. Some people will work harder and perform better, they may change their behaviour due to the attention they are receiving.

Henry A. Landsberger described the hawthorne effect during his analysis of experiments conducted during the 1920s and 1930s at the Hawthorne works electric company. Hawthorne works electric company commissioned research to determine if people working in a certain environment for example, being watched by cameras would effect how they worked for the better.

    • “The original data have since been re-analysed, and it is not so clear whether the original results hold up. Nevertheless, the concept has been established – the very fact that people are under study, observation or investigation can have an effect on them and the results.”
      (Earl-Slater, 2002)
  • “One way to deal with the Hawthorne effect (and demand characteristics) is to observe the participants unobtrusively. This can be done using the naturalistic observation technique. However, this is not always possible for all behaviours. Another way to deal with the Hawthorne effect is to make the participants’ responses in a study anonymous (or confidential). This may eliminate some of the effects of this source bias.”
    (McBride, 2013)


Earl-Slater, A. (2002). The handbook of clinical trials and other research. London: Radliffe Medical Press.

McBride, D. M. (2013). The process of research in psychology. London: Sage Publications.


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