SAGE Journal Articles

Click on the following links. Please note these will open in a new window.

Journal Article 1: O’ Sullivan, I., Orbell, S., Rakow, J., & Parker, R. (2004). Prospective research in health service settings: Health psychology, science and the ‘Hawthorne’ effect. Journal of Health Psychology, 9, 355–359.

Abstract: Health service providers sometimes express concern about the impact of prospective survey research upon patient behaviour. To date, there is little available evidence from which to estimate the likelihood of any ‘Hawthorne’ effect on patient behaviour in health service settings. We analysed data from one of our own surveys to investigate whether inviting people to participate in research had any impact on their subsequent uptake of a screening service. Findings showed that people sent a questionnaire were slightly faster to take up screening than those not sent a questionnaire. We obtained no significant difference in absolute service uptake rate at six months.

Journal Article 2: Gilder, T. S. E., & Heerey, E. A. (2018). The role of experimenter belief in social primingPsychological Science, 29, 403–417.

Abstract: Research suggests that stimuli that prime social concepts can fundamentally alter people’s behavior. However, most researchers who conduct priming studies fail to explicitly report double-blind procedures. Because experimenter expectations may influence participant behavior, we asked whether a short pre-experiment interaction between participants and experimenters would contribute to priming effects when experimenters were not blind to participant condition. An initial double-blind experiment failed to demonstrate the expected effects of a social prime on executive cognition. To determine whether double-blind procedures caused this result, we independently manipulated participants’ exposure to a prime and experimenters’ belief about which prime participants received. Across four experiments, we found that experimenter belief, rather than prime condition, altered participant behavior. Experimenter belief also altered participants’ perceptions of their experimenter, suggesting that differences in experimenter behavior across conditions caused the effect. Findings reinforce double-blind designs as experimental best practice and suggest that people’s prior beliefs have important consequences for shaping behavior with an interaction partner.