The Dr. Fox effect: a study of lecturer effectiveness and ratings of instruction

J Med Educ. 1975 Feb;50(2):149-56.


Students viewed one of six lectures which varied only in substantive teaching points (content) covered and seductiveness. These 207 students then rated the effectiveness of the presentation (satisfaction ratings) and completed a 26-item achievement test. Students who viewed high seduction lectures performed better on the achievement test than did students who viewed low seduction lectures. Similarly, students who viewed lectures high in content performed better on the cognitive test than did students who viewed low-content lectures. The relationship between staisfaction ratings and student achievement was not perfect. Students gave higher ratings to seductive lectures. However, ratings reflected differences in content-coverage only under low seduction conditions. The ratings were not sensitive to variations in content-coverage when lectures were highly seductive. The "Doctor Fox Effect" appears to be more than an illusion. Seductiveness affects both student ratings of instruction and achievement.

MeSH terms

  • Achievement
  • Adolescent
  • Adult
  • Analysis of Variance
  • Cognition
  • Educational Measurement
  • Evaluation Studies as Topic
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Methods
  • Students*
  • Surveys and Questionnaires
  • Teaching / standards*
  • Universities