Subject-expectancy effect  

From The Art and Popular Culture Encyclopedia

Jump to: navigation, search

Related e

Google
Wikipedia
Wiktionary
Wiki Commons
Wikiquote
Wikisource
YouTube
Shop


Featured:
Train wreck at Montparnasse (October 22, 1895) by Studio Lévy and Sons.
Enlarge
Train wreck at Montparnasse (October 22, 1895) by Studio Lévy and Sons.

The subject-expectancy effect, is a form of reactivity that occurs in scientific experiments or medical treatments when a research subject or patient expects a given result and therefore unconsciously affects the outcome, or reports the expected result. Because this effect can significantly bias the results of experiments (especially on human subjects), double-blind methodology is used to eliminate the effect.

Like the observer-expectancy effect, it is often a cause of "odd" results in many experiments. The subject-expectancy effect is most commonly found in medicine, where it can result in the subject experiencing the placebo effect or nocebo effect, depending on how the influence pans out.

An example of a scenario involving these various effects is as follows: A woman goes to her doctor with an issue. The doctor diagnoses with certainty, and then clearly explains the diagnosis and the expected route towards recovery. If he does this convincingly, calming her, removing fear and instilling hope, she will likely, through the positive expectancy, experience the placebo effect, aiding in her recovery. On the other hand, if her doctor had had little time for her, was uncertain about the diagnosis, and had given her a prescription, combined with a message along the lines of, "this may help sometimes," and added a message about possible horrible side effects (combined, say, with the patient having talked to a neighbor who also speaks along the same lines about the horrible side effects), then the chance of negative subject-expectancy, or nocebo, becomes quite large.

The subject expectancy effect is also clearly seen in psychotherapy.

See also




Unless indicated otherwise, the text in this article is either based on Wikipedia article "Subject-expectancy effect" or another language Wikipedia page thereof used under the terms of the GNU Free Documentation License; or on original research by Jahsonic and friends. See Art and Popular Culture's copyright notice.

Personal tools