Social Research Glossary


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Citation reference: Harvey, L., 2012-19, Social Research Glossary, Quality Research International,

This is a dynamic glossary and the author would welcome any e-mail suggestions for additions or amendments. Page updated 23 January, 2019 , © Lee Harvey 2012–2019.


A fast-paced novel of conjecture and surprises


Order effect

core definition

Order effects occur in a succession of social psychological experiments where the earlier treatments may impact on later treatments.

explanatory context

Order effects occur in social psychological experiments where one treatment follows another. Earlier treatments can themselves efffect later ones.


Randomising treatments to a group of subjects is a possible way of overcoming order effects. Alternatively the same subjects could be tested several times under different conditions in order to counterbalance the order effects.


Order effects are usually seen to fall into one of two categories.


First, practice effect where there is an improvement in performance with practice.


Second, fatigue effect, where there is a reduction in performance due to tiredness or boredom

analytical review

associated issues


related areas

See also


Researching the Real World Section 9


copyright Lee Harvey 2012–2019


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