The Hawthorne studies are best known for the Hawthorne effect, namely that those who perceive themselves as members of the experimental or otherwise favored group tend to outperform their controls, often regardless of the intervention. Secondary sources describing the Hawthorne effect (e.g., [1,2]) tell us that in an experiment conducted at Western Electric's Hawthorne Works factory in the 1920s, psychologists examined the working conditions of plant workers doing repetitive tasks. The major finding quoted is that irrespective of what one does to improve or degrade conditions, productivity goes up. The usual example given is variation in light. If light…
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