The sleeper effect generally refers to the latent effect of a stimulus. More specifically, it has two definitions in developmental research. The first occurs when an experiment has an outcome that does not appear until after the end of the treatment. In other words, it is a delay in the appearance of an effect of a treatment. For example, a study compares an experimental and a control group to examine the effects of a treatment. Immediately following treatment, there is no significant difference between the controls and the participants who received the treatment. However, at a later follow-up exam, researchers find that the treatment group now displays a difference. The sleeper effect in this scenario is the latent effect of the treatment. As it relates ...

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