MEANING: noun: An improvement in workers’ performance attributed to the special attention they received when singled out for a study.

ETYMOLOGY: After Hawthorne Works, a factory complex of the Western Electric Company, where this effect was observed. The complex was named after the original name of the town where it was located. Earliest documented use: 1958.

NOTES: In the 1920s, researchers studying a group of workers at the Hawthorne Works of the Western Electric Company in Cicero, Illinois, observed something peculiar. They found that the productivity increased irrespective of the change in the direction of a variable. For example, the performance improved under brighter lights, but also when the lighting level was reduced. The researchers attributed this phenomenon to the workers’ perception that they were being given some attention. The very realization of being singled out for study motivated them to perform better.

NAWT-HORNE EFFECT - honking in traffic accomplishes nothing

HAW! TH'ORNE EFFECT - when the French river overflow its banks it's simply laughable

HAST HORNE EFFECT - being able to go "beep-beep" makes a driver more aggressive (but see NAWT-HORNE EFFECT)