The “observer” paradox | opinion

In physics, but also in the social sciences, the effect of observation on what is observed is well known. For example, if you need to use a probe to observe an atomic phenomenon, the probe itself causes changes to what you want to observe. So we have a measurement of the object that is necessarily different from the one we would not have measured – a paradox that the German physicist Werner Heisenberg used as inspiration for his famous “uncertainty principle”. Similar phenomena also exist in sociology and anthropology, as a subject usually behaves differently when they know they are being watched. Even in history, where this principle would not apply in principle because our subjects tend to be already dead, many of them have chosen the truth, which documents they want to leave behind, because they were aware that they were of history to be observed. Another example: people who have opinions in opinion polls and would not have an opinion if they hadn’t asked their opinion for the poll. And so on. The variants are numerous.

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