Hawthorne Effect and Tearoom Trade Essay

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You could argue that Humphrey’s study of the tearoom trade violated ethical standards of sociological study because Humphrey’s way of studying the people who were participating in visiting “tearooms” for scandalous sex was to use participant observation which is a type of field research in which the researcher poses as a person who is normally in the environment. After he used participant observation he posed as a health survey researcher and visited many of the men in their home.

Knowing this information, you can say that Humphrey’s study violated ethical issues because researchers have said that if you deceive people completely and tell no one that you are doing a study, you can not exactly protect the people you are studying, or protect their dignities and worth. On the other hand, researchers have also said that if you tell your whole study to people, you can’t be sure that they will not act differently because they know they are being studied.

The Hawthorne effect is when people behave differently because they know they are part of an experiment. This could also affect the results of a study on office productivity because if you are doing a study on how people in an office are working, they will change the way they usually would work which would make the study not correct. Sociologists make sure that when they are doing experiments, the subjects did not know that that they were being studied and make sure that the Hawthorne effect does not influence or change their findings.

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