“Deception (methodological technique)”

“Deception is a methodological technique whereby a participant is not made fully aware of the specific purposes of the study or is misinformed as part of the study. Two main forms of deception that may occur in research are (1) the researcher intentionally misinforms the participant about some aspect of the study. For example, a researcher wanting to study how people respond to negative health feedback may deceive participants by telling them a saliva test they took indicates that they may have a disease, when in fact the test was only a manipulation used to create an emotional response and (2) omission of information, such as not telling participants that a study of “Relationship formation with a stranger” actually deals with the specifics of interracial interactions. This type of deception is based on the notion that certain psychological processes may be biased if the participant were aware of the exact nature of the study. A common form of deception is not fully disclosing the true nature of the study until it is over. Here knowledge of the purposes of the study may cause participants to act in less than spontaneous ways and may bias the results.”


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