The Observer Effect In Science - Deepstash

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The Observer Effect In Science

Apart from people, the observer effect is famously highlighted in the thought experiment of the physician Erwin Schrödinger.

He states that if a cat is placed in a box of radioactive atoms that may or may not kill it in one hour, the cat is in the state of limbo until someone observes it by opening the box. The final outcome does not happen until someone observes it.

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MORE IDEAS FROM THE SAME ARTICLE

Most people overlook the effect that people have when someone is observing them. There is a difference in the behaviour of people, animals and atoms when they are being observed.

Though it is not a universal effect, observing living things does change them, and in the ca...

Tracking, monitoring and observing people and animals changes their behaviour.

This has been seen in hospitals where patients and even doctors/nurses behave differently when they know that they are being observed. Even captured animals in a zoo behave differently when they are being ...

We can benefit from the observer effect by carving out our daily goals like going for a jog or to the gym to be observable by a friend, so that we know that if we skip a day, they will know about it.

This can provide us with a positive ‘peer pressure’ to get going.

An expectation that we might be spied on also makes us change our behaviour.

The CCTV cameras in every apartment, mall or office keep the person guessing if they are being surveyed or not. They don’t know if they are being watched, but have no choice but to assume they a...

Our own behaviour appears reasonable to us, and any mistakes that we make are easily attributed to other factors. However, if the same mistake is made by a third person, our tendency is to judge them as incompetent or inconsiderate. This is known as The Actor-Observer Bias.

Even on social...

While it is clear that observing something can change the outcome or behaviour, there is another aspect of the Observer Effect: It also changes the perception of the observer regarding the outcome.

Known as ‘Observer Bias’, outcomes and results can appear altered or disto...

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Succumbing to the Availability Bias

After a particularly stressful event, most people prepare for a repeat of the same challenge they just faced. From the micro level to the macro level, we succumb to the availability bias and get ready to fight a war we’ve already fought.

We learn that one lesson, but we don’t expa...

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Collective Intelligence

While looking for solutions and answers, we find that an individual provides a different answer than a group of people. Wisdom of the crowd is often considered better, as an individual might be biased, manipulated or have some ulterior motive. Depending on the problem, the wisdom of the c...

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Risk Compensation

Risk protection is normally done to minimize the harm a particular activity can do to us. There are various things we do to reduce our risk, to make ourselves safer.

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