Deception and Research
Deception is used as a methodological instrument for various purposes. For example, in experimental research, if participants were fully informed about the aim of the study their behavior could be altered and unspontaneous. Similarly, in ethnographic research, sometimes full disclosure of the researcher’s identity and goals is not feasible, because the behavior of research participants can be disturbed if they are aware that they are being observed. Formal norms and institutions that regulate the use of deception in research are inspired by ethical concern for the health and well-being of research participants and developed primarily with a focus on biomedical research. While various forms of deception are commonly used in behavioral research, the ethics codes of most professional associations explicitly regulate use of deception. As a result, the use and status of deception varies...
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