Date of Award:

1968

Document Type:

Thesis

Degree Name:

Master of Science (MS)

Department:

Psychology

Advisor/Chair:

David R. Stone

Abstract

This study attempted to create experimentally the Hawthorne effect in a freshman general psychology class at Utah State University during tall quarter of 1967. It also attempted to discover the differential effect of cueing, sex, and relevance on the experimental creation of the Hawthorne effect as measured by six general psychology criterion tests.

The design of this study included a control group and three experimental groups.

The following five hypotheses were postulated:

  1. The experimental groups will show greater influence from the Hawthorne effect than the control group.

  2. Within the three experimental groups there will be an increasing Hawthorne effect with the least effect in the subject-object cue group and the greatest effect in the subject-object-observer group as compared to the control group.

  3. The females in all experimental groups will show significantly greater Hawthorne effect than males within the same groups.

  4. The group rating high on the Relevance scale will show significantly greater Hawthorne effect than the groups rating low in relevance.

  5. There will be sufficient interactive effects between factors to the extent that some will reach significance.

The hypotheses were tested by means of analysis of covariance with ACT predicted grade point average as the covariate. None of the differences were significant at the .05 level.

It was concluded that the Hawthorne effect does not exist as a potent enough variable to distort the influence of the independent variable on the dependent variable in educational and psychological investigations of short duration involving freshman university students. It was also concluded that the variables of Cueing, Sex, and Relevance are not functionally related to the creation of the Hawthorne effect and, therefore, need not be controlled.

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