The Role of Experimenter Belief in Social Priming

  • Thandiwe S. E. Gilder, Erin A. Heerey
  • Psychological Science, January 2018, SAGE Publications
  • DOI: 10.1177/0956797617737128

Experimenter effects in psychological research

What is it about?

Even though double-blind designs are the "gold standard" in research, few studies in psychology actually report using them. Our work shows that even conscientious researchers can create experimenter effects if they have both knowledge of participants' test conditions and a belief that their hypotheses are correct.

Why is it important?

This paper reinforces the idea of the double-blind design in psychology research and suggests some ways in which experimenters' behaviour might influence task results.


Erin Heerey
Western University

I hope this paper motivates more researchers to think about and implement this important design consideration in their own research.

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