Investor Connect Podcast

Observer Expectancy Bias

Hello, this is Hall T. Martin with the Startup Funding Espresso -- your daily shot of startup funding and investing.

The observer expectancy bias is defined by Wikipedia as when a researcher expects a given result and therefore unconsciously manipulates an experiment or misinterprets data in order to find it.

Startups will take customer feedback and ignore the elements that don’t match their expectations.

This is a problem that many startups face when gathering data about the problem to be solved and engaging with prospective customers about the solution.

To overcome the observer expectancy bias, consider the following:

Maintain awareness of the bias and check to make sure that all the customer feedback is making its way into the decision-making process.

Have multiple people review the data separately and draw their own conclusions.

Then combine the conclusions into one report.

Design customer feedback questions to avoid observer expectancy bias such as the wording of the questions that lead the respondent one way or another.

Design customer feedback interviews so it doesn’t presume the stated problem is confirmed but rather let the customers confirm it.

Set up customer feedback interviews in a double-blind format so the one asking the questions and those answering are unaware of the hypothesis under discovery.


Thank you for joining us for the Startup Funding Espresso where we help startups and investors connect for funding.

Let’s go startup something today.


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Direct download: Observer_Expectation_Bias.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 5:00am CDT