Observer effect

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Observer effect, observer bias, observation bias, etc. may refer to a number of concepts, some of them closely related:

General experimental biases[edit]

  • Hawthorne effect, a form of reactivity in which subjects modify an aspect of their behavior, in response to their knowing that they are being studied
  • Observer-expectancy effect, a form of reactivity in which a researcher's cognitive bias causes them to unconsciously influence the participants of an experiment
  • Observer bias, a detection bias in research studies resulting for example from an observer's cognitive biases


  • Observer effect (physics), the impact of observing a physical system
  • Probe effect, the effect on a physical system of adding measurement devices, such as the probes of electronic test equipment



See also[edit]