The Hawthorne Effect is a little known phenomenon of the unconscious mind. A person starts training at something “new”. For a few hours or days, there is significant improvement in this training, then, suddenly, no improvement or in some few cases, a reverse in training is experienced.

No one “knows” exactly why this phenomenon is a factor in various educational training situations. The major theory is that It comes from the unconscious mind “resisting change”. .Or, you might use the popular phrase “If it works, don’t fix it”!

While it seems to appear more in Subliminal Training than other modes, it’s also present in other training or teaching situations, including EEG Biofeedback (AKA Neurofeedback). As usual, it varies with each INDIVIDUAL. A majority of persons never notice any effects. Why do some, and not others? We don’t know – always remember that in dealing with the mind, every one is different (INDIVIDUALITY is the key). However, in a few persons, this Hawthorne Effect may be very strong, and perhaps frightening.

Since this Hawthorne Effect seems to be more prevalent in subliminal brain training, I have given this subject a lot of thought, and have the following theories as to how this Hawthorne Effect may work in different individuals:

* In my opinion, the most probable reason for this effect is the unconscious mind’s “resistance to change”, as part of our inherent defense system. The computer part of our brain tries to maintain the status quo. This is known as homeostasis in medical language. In layman language, “don’t fix what ain’t broke”.

* Another possible factor for some persons may be that the unconscious mind doesn’t want that brain problem solved. The unconscious mind is a strange, and at times, a murky place indeed. I once found with hypnosis, that a very fat lady unconsciously didn’t want to lose fat because she was “punishing” her husband. Bedwetters often are unconsciously “punishing their parents”. Sounds silly, but it’s true as any good psychologist can testify. The goals of the unconscious often contradict the goals of the conscious!

* A somewhat similar unconscious motive might be that the person is “punishing” their self for some real or imaginary guilt.

As to why this Hawthorne Effect seems to be somewhat more prevalent used in subliminal training than in EEG BF training, it’s probable that using the conscious mind to work on the unconscious may seem to be more “reassuring”, and create less resistance to change. However, some persons working in EEG BF (AKA Neurofeedback) have reported this same effect in some trainees.

Now that (I hope) you understand the Hawthorne Effect a bit better, let’s see what it means to you and yours! First and foremost – be assured that you can come to no harm in simply continuing to train as you did. The Hawthorne Effect has never actually harmed anyone, except scaring them out of doing what they want to do.

If you simply keep on going to sleep while playing the Bate Auditory Training audio, in a few days or so, you’ll notice that you are now, once again, improving in various symptoms. Keep on trucking, as the saying goes, and you’ll get better.

For much more information on other specific problems, you can go to Dr Bate’s two other websites which have lots of free information on nutrition and Orthomolecular/Alternative therapies as well as EEG Biofeedback. These are:



Phil Bate PhD – Retired Orthomolecular Psychologist
Inventor and Patent Pending Holder for
Brain Wave Amplitude Changing via Auditory Training

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