The Hawthorne Effect

People change their behaviour if they know they’re being watched. It’s called the Hawthorne effect. It’s one of the reasons being an actor is so difficult. It also makes any kind of study on human behaviour very difficult.

If you know a researcher is going to be documenting how you behave, would you change the way you’re going to behave?

If you were in a nutrition study, would your eating improve if you knew someone was going to go through everything you ate?

When you’re at work, do you work harder when the boss is walking around?

While the Hawthorne effect makes any kind of observational study harder, you can use it to your advantage.

Even if someone isn’t watching, you can pretend they are. Your future self, your future family, the people you look up to, the people who look up to you.

What if they were watching?

What would you do differently?