Attrition Psychology in Research: Why It Happens and How to Prevent It

Introduction to Attrition Psychology

Over the course of your research, you might have come across something called attrition psychology. It refers to the drop-out rate of participants during a study, and it can be caused by several different reasons. Learn more about attrition psychology in research, why it happens, and how to prevent it so that you don’t have these issues on your own projects.

What attrition psychology example

There’s what I call attrition meaning which means they’ve simply given up due to apathy or some other issue. There are many ways to prevent attrition from happening. The most important way is to make sure you include everyone in your study so nobody feels left out or unwanted. Other ways include being mindful of attrition bias and providing benefits for participants such as gift cards for their time spent with you on your study.

There are three types of attrition that happen when people research a topic. One type is attrition Psychology bias which is caused by prejudice against certain people or groups. Another type is attrition threat which occurs when someone might think they’re not getting a benefit out of the research. And finally,


  1. Introduce the subject of attrition psychology
  2. Explain what attrition is and its meaning
  3. Discuss how this affects the quality of research and data
  4. Present steps that can be taken to avoid attrition
  5. Conclude with a brief summary of the overall importance of these findings for researchers, study participants, and any other readers


Research has shown that the attrition psychology rates in clinical trials average around 50% over the course of the study. Attrition psychology is a term used to describe a range of phenomena that can affect these rates, such as loss to follow-up or change of eligibility criteria. The current study considers, primarily, three aspects of attrition – i) loss to follow-up; ii) trial completion; iii) change of eligibility criteria – and explores their consequences for designing future studies.


In research, attrition refers to the idea that participants eventually quit or drop out of a study. Attrition psychology is unavoidable, but some causes are avoidable; if your research is asking people to fill out surveys or complete other mundane tasks on the internet, you should offer them something useful in return.


Experiments that involve human participants must always be designed with the understanding that people might drop out of the study for a variety of reasons. When a subject drops out, it is referred to as attrition.

A person might drop out for any number of reasons, including illness, conflict with schoolwork or commitments at work, difficulty following directions or complexity of the research protocol, depression or other mental health issues- these are just some potential examples.


In research, attrition psychology is a phenomenon that happens when study participants decide not to continue with the study. Generally, these people will drop out due to illness or because they lose interest.

Read Also>> Psychology Definitions

Some scientists believe that patients are more likely to drop out if their health is poor. Others hypothesize that the point at which the participants think they’ve reached their desired result could make them leave early.

Ethical Issues and Guidelines

To prevent a potential ethical issue, consider limiting your data collection to only what is necessary for the research study. For example, if you are performing a survey, be sure not to ask any demographic questions that are irrelevant to the research study.

If you are interviewing someone, be sure not to ask any irrelevant personal questions. If you use questionnaires that have been approved by an IRB (institutional review board), they will already have many of these restrictions in place.

attrition threat

In social research, attrition is defined as the process of some people stopping participation in a study before it is complete. One of the most important ways to limit attrition is by ensuring that participants feel a sense of accomplishment early on.

It can also be helpful for researchers to check back with participants periodically so they know the participants are happy with their experience. Asking for feedback or being involved with checking up on respondents keeps them invested in the project.


We all know that attrition, or drop-out, is common in research studies. As researchers, it’s important for us to think about our study from the perspective of a participant who has completed a long survey. They’ve given so much of themselves for an hour (or two) – why should they give any more? This post discusses some techniques we can use as researchers to minimize participant drop-out from our studies.

Analysis of Results

Generally speaking, attrition refers to the phenomenon of participants not completing a study or dropping out. Attrition psychologists research why people don’t complete studies, primarily through qualitative studies with focus groups or individual interviews with respondents who didn’t complete their assigned tasks.

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