Posted by Todd (184.108.40.206) on September 12, 1999 at 19:04:56:
I just read Nancy's satiric post re: magnets, and she used the phrase 'placebo effect'. Got me thinking. I'm a business consultant, and in my field we have a classic study referred to as the Hawthorne Effect. Bear with me, please, as I'm way off my game right now for a large variety of reasons.
As I recall, Hawthorne conducted experiments in a GE plant in the 20's. He first went in and increase the light levels, through the simple expedient of higher wattage light bulbs. Voila!!! Productivity immediately increased. About 2 weeks later, it dropped back down to pre-change levels. So, Hawthorne went back in and REDUCED the light level. Guess what? Yup, another voila. Productivity back up, but again, only for a few weeks.
Garyg, I suppose this is the business environment parallel of the placebo effect, but you know so much more about scientific practii (okay, not a word, but heck, I was a Lit major, I have license) than I do, that I thought it might be interesting to toss this concept out to you and see what you think.
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