What is it about?

Our interactions with one another affect the way we perform, but to date, this has not been taken enough into consideration in understanding participants’ behavior in social studies. We explored how the way the participant and experimenter feel during their interaction with one another is related to the participant’s cognitive performance during the experiment. Examining the effects of the quality of the relationship between the participant and the experimenter on children with- and without ADHD, we show that rapport aids children to perform better and that children with ADHD are aided by rapport differently compared with children without ADHD. This paper highlights the need to take the interpersonal relationship within the experimental setting into account when planning, executing and analyzing an experiment.

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Why is it important?

Our findings demonstrate how different populations utilize the degree of positivity and harmony of the interaction differently. The study highlights the need to consider the bond created during the experiment as a facilitator of performance.


I hope you find this article thought-provoking. In some ways, it talks about the elephant in the room; that is the research tries to take a birds-eye view on us the experimenters who form the setting and take a vital part in the context enveloping the experiment. As such, we are not only the designers of the study or authors of the papers it yields, but we may at times, be an integral part of the experiment itself.

Ronny Geva
Bar Ilan University

Read the Original

This page is a summary of: Participant–experimenter rapport in experimental settings: A test case of executive functions among children with ADHD., Journal of Experimental Psychology General, September 2020, American Psychological Association (APA),
DOI: 10.1037/xge0000743.
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