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Overview

observer bias


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The tendency of an observer to “see what is expected or wanted” rather than what is actually there. A common occurrence in everyday life and a problem sometimes encountered in science. Observer bias includes observer error, which can be due to faulty instrumentation, as well as faulty interpretation of responses to interviews or self-administered questionnaires, but use of the word “bias” in this context implies existence of conscious or unconscious prejudice.


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