Definition of Hawthorne effect in English:

Hawthorne effect


  • The alteration of behavior by the subjects of a study due to their awareness of being observed.

    • ‘As in any observational study, the Hawthorne effect is a possibility.’
    • ‘The results cannot be explained by the Hawthorne effect as they have been sustained over five years.’
    • ‘To avoid performance bias due to the Hawthorne effect, the investigators purposely scheduled the observations during the last 2 months of the intervention phase of the larger study.’
    • ‘It might be argued that a Hawthorne effect was created while the investigator gave a brief talk on changing attitudes toward sexuality before collecting data.’
    • ‘To minimize the impact of the Hawthorne effect, no nursing specialty was emphasized more than another.’
    • ‘The modest improvement we observed is probably explained by a Hawthorne effect.’
    • ‘This observation suggests that the act of monitoring produces benefits beyond the so-called Hawthorne effect.’
    • ‘There were some concerns that the introduction of the badges would introduce a Hawthorne effect.’
    • ‘When unable to conduct hypothesis-driven research, they strive to be value-neutral and ‘objective’ in the field, thus avoiding the Hawthorne effect.’
    • ‘The improvement in mortality could also be an indirect effect, unrelated to the medical emergency team - namely the Hawthorne effect.’
    • ‘A Hawthorne effect could occur in both acupuncture and placebo treatment groups because they were studied.’


1960s: from Hawthorne, the name of one of the Western Electric Company's plants in Chicago, where the phenomenon was first observed in the 1920s.