Deception in Psychological Research

Topics: Ethics, Morality, Psychology Pages: 4 (1272 words) Published: September 13, 2011
Deception in Psychological Research

Lindsey Bocskay


Dr. Matthew Geyer
When conducting any type of psychological research, the American Psychological Association (APA) Ethics codes comes into effect. Every researcher or scientist is obligated to follow the standards set in the ethics codes. There are many ethical standards that need to be upheld when dealing with research. Researchers must see if the research or study meets the ethical standards. There are many ways of conducting research and gathering data. Some ways are considered ethical and appropriate ways to gather data while other ways are deemed unethical. Deception and misrepresenting oneself in order to obtain data is a controversial issue on whether it is ethical or unethical to obtain data in this manner. In this paper, ethics will be defined, the concept of risk/benefit ratio will be discussed, Deception and misrepresenting in research will be discussed, and evaluating the impact deception and misrepresenting oneself has on psychological research.

According to Wikipedia, “ethics is a branch of philosophy which seeks to address questions about morality….how moral values should be determined, how a moral outcome can be achieved in specific situations, how moral capacity or moral agency develops and what its nature is, and what moral values people actually abide by (Wikipedia, para. 1). Ethics deal with morals. What is considered to be morally right or wrong. When dealing with morals, it describes how people should behave and the principles that ultimately reflect what is good or desirable for human beings. In psychological research, “psychologist are expected to make a personal commitment and lifelong effort to act ethically; to encourage ethical behavior by students, supervises, employees, and colleagues; and to consult with others concerning ethical problems” (Shaughnessy, Zechmeister, & Zechmeister, 2005).

Along with determining ethical standards, the...

References: Desroches, F. J. (1990). Tearoom Trade: A Research Update. Qualitative Sociology, 13(1), 37-86. Retrieved from
Hertwig, R., & Ortmann, A. (2008). Deception in Social Psychological Experiments:. Social Psychology Quarterly, 71(3), 222–227. Retrieved from
Shaughnessy, J. J., Zechmeister, E. B., & Zechmeister, J. S. (2005). Research Methods in Psychology. Retrieved from
Wikipedia. (2009). Wikipedia. Retrieved from
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