Observation effects


Investigator effects

When a researcher unintentionally or unconsciously influences the outcome of any research they are conducting 

1. Non-verbal communication  

2. Physical characteristics  

3. Bias in interpretation of data 

1 of 4

Hawthorne effect

  • Present when the increased attention given by the researchers is a confounding variable in a study 

  • Evaluation apprehension may lead to ppt trying harder than they would usually do, distorting the results collected 

  • Detecting this effect requires info about similar activities carried out when the ppts didn’t know they were under investigation  
2 of 4

Social desirability bias

  • Bias in ppts behaviour occurs when they note aspects of the study that have to do with particular social norms or expectations, and in turn present themselves in what they seem a socially acceptable fashion 

  • Could make the data inaccurate  

3 of 4

Demand characteristics

  • High risk that ppts will change their natural behaviour in line with their interpretation of the aims of a study - affecting how they respond  

  • Ppts may try to please the researcher or may deliberately try to skew the results (‘screw you’ effect) 

4 of 4


No comments have yet been made

Similar Psychology resources:

See all Psychology resources »See all Research methods and techniques resources »