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Describing the limitations of my study surrounding the modeling of domestic hot water storage tanks, I want to find a precise term to describe realistic user behavior, which was disregarded in my simulation.

Such behavior would include, e.g.,

  • interrupting/postponing the draw-off during bathing once the temperature falls below a certain limit
  • increasing the temperature setting preceding unusually high hot water consumption

Could I refer to this behavior as "game-theoretical effects", or is there another, more fitting, scientific term?

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Science in general refers to ecological validity as the degree to which materials and settings in a study approximate the real world that is being examined.

Therefore, such limitations could be referred to as limitations to ecological validity. Often, such limitations are inherent to running an experimental study, as opposed to studying the real world. Whether or not this is a risk to the overall validity of your study depends on what conclusions you intend to draw from the results.

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