deception in research

Topics: Psychology, Scientific method, Informed consent Pages: 3 (642 words) Published: November 16, 2014
Why is deception a controversial issue in psychological research Deception is defined as the provision of information that actively misled research subjects about particular aspects of the study being undertaken, ( as in Hertwig & Ortmann, 2008). This is a technique that has widely been applied by psychological researchers to collect information about human social behavior, justification given is that the research participant if given full disclosure may alter their behavior, and researchers end up with unreliable deductions and conclusions. Scientific researchers claim that not acquinting the research participants with full facts about the experiment does not constitute intentional deception, (Hertwig & Ortmann, 2008), since this prevents them from inferring the hypothesis being tested for and reduces bias in the study. The approach of deception infringes on one of the most important aspects of research, which has been the source of controversy for a quite sometime, it is participants informed consent. According to the American Pychological Association code of conduct states that it is imparative that the potential research participant be given information about the particulars of the research such as the kind of procedures that may be used and what is expected of them during the course of the research and whether they will be exposed to danger or not. This information gives the participant to make an informed decision whether to participate or not in the research, (American Psychological Association, 2014), the ethical code also emphasizes on the right to privacy of the participant meaning information collected about them will be private and treated as such. A new technique has been advocated by researchers, it is authorized deception, in this technique, the participant is precented with a concent form stating that some of the information provided to them may be incorrect, this technique gives the paricipant an opportunity to accept or decline participation...

References: American Psychological Association,. (2014). Ethical Principles of Psychologists and Code of Conduct. Retrieved 6 November 2014, from
Hertwig, R., & Ortmann, A. (2008). Deception in experiments: Revisiting the arguments in its defense. Ethics & Behavior, 18(1), 59-92.
Klein, J. G., & Smith, N. C. (2002). Forewarning & Debriefing as Remedies to Deception in Consumer Research: An Empirical Study.
Lindsey, R. T. (1984). Informed consent and deception in psychotherapy research: An ethical analysis. The Counseling Psychologist.
Miller, F., Wendler, D., & Swartzman, L. (2005). Deception in Research on the Placebo Effect. Plos Med, 2(9), e262. doi:10.1371/journal.pmed.0020262
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