Deception in Research

Topics: Ethics, Morality, Deception Pages: 3 (1107 words) Published: September 15, 2013
Deception in Research
August 5, 2013
Kimberly Wilkins

Deception in Research
Ethics are a very important part of psychological research, not only for the researcher, but also for the participant(s). Researchers have a duty to protect the participants from any kind of harm or injury. There is not one exact definition of ethics, as there are many. In this paper I will discuss what I believe the definition of ethics to be, along with the connection between deception and ethics. Deception is also an important issue when dealing with ethics and psychological research. I will also discuss the risk/benefit ratio when related to ethics and deception. When does the risk of the experiment outweigh the benefits of it? According to the Resnik (2011) website, ethics are a set of rules that distinguish between acceptable (right) and unacceptable (wrong) behavior. Ethics are sometimes confused with morals. Morals are what are considered acceptable and unacceptable by one’s own principle or idea. Ethics are what help define the rules society believes individuals should live by. Ethics are what are considered acceptable and unacceptable by a culture or class. When conducting a study, researchers have a responsibility to keep the participants from harm. The American Psychological Association (APA) constructed the Code of Ethics that help guide psychologists to maintain ethical work. The “American Psychological Association” (n.d.) states that this code is for psychologists’ activities that are part of his or her educational, scientific, or professional roles of the psychologists. Areas covered by the APA Code of Ethics include but are not limited to research, social intervention, constructing assessments, conducting assessments, and program and administration. These cover contexts such as person to person, telephone, postal, and Internet. According to Banks (2008), research risk is “the probability of harm or injury (physical, psychological,...

References: American Psychological Association. (n.d.). Retrieved from
Athanassoulis, N., & Wilson, J. (2009). When is deception in research ethical?. Clinical Ethics, 4(1), 44-49. Deception Topics. (n.d.). Retrieved from
Banks, M. A. (2008). A Closer Look at Risk-Benefit Analysis. Retrieved from
Christensen, L. (1988, December). Deception in Psychological Research: When it is Justified. Pers Soc Psychol Bull, 14(664), . 10.1177/0146167288144002
Resnik, D. B. (2011). National Institute of Environmental Health Sciences. Retrieved from
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