When is Deception and/or Witholding Information from Participants Appropriate?

150 words for each classmates. In-text citation also 5-7 years references.



2 posts

Re: Topic 3 DQ2

Deception in research can be a helpful way of getting the information needed in some cases. For instance, it can fall within Principle C: Integrity, according to the APA ethics code in some situations deception maybe justifiable to maximize benefits and minimize harm. “Psychologists have a serious obligation to consider the need for, the possible consequences of, and their responsibility to correct any resulting mistrust or other harmful effects that arise from the use of such techniques. (APA, 2017).” For example, if a patient is reaching out to the psychologist stating they are wanting to harm themselves it is that psychologist duty to get as much information from that person to maintain their safety no matter what that person’s life is what is important at that given moment. Another example of when deception is necessary, when “psychologists are conducting court-ordered assessments or evaluating military personnel may be prevented from obtaining consent by law or governmental regulation (Fisher, 2017, p.157).” Although it may be beneficial in some cases it also can have adverse effects when used wrong.


American Psychological Association. (2017). Ethical principles of psychologists and code of  conduct. Retrieved from https://www.apa.org/ethics/code/

Fisher, C. B. (2017). Standards on research and publication. Decoding the Ethics Code: A Practical Guide for Psychologists. (4thed.). (pp. 281-341). Los Angeles, CA: Sage Publications, Inc. Retrieved from http://gcumedia.com/digital-resources/sage/2016/decoding-the-ethics-code_a-practical-guide-for-psychologists_ebook_4e.php



3 posts

Re: Topic 3 DQ2

According to Fisher (2017), deception in research means psychologists intentionally withhold information or misinform participants about the purpose of the study, the experimental procedures, equipment used, or roles of the research team members. Deception should be used when psychologists have justified that using non-deceptive alternative procedures are not feasible. Using deception in research may benefit psychologists by keeping the participants unaware of the purpose of the experiment, providing a more realistic response. An example of using deception in research is the placebo effect. According to Miller, Swartzman, and Wendler (2005), the placebo effect monitors the positive physiological or psychological changes after administering inert medication and sham procedures without acknowledgement of the patient. The purpose, though deceptive, is to determine how inert interventions can lead to positive changes in patients. Proposed by APA (2018), under Principle C involving integrity, deception should be avoided unless it is deemed to maximize the benefits of the experiment and eliminate any harm.

APA. (2018). Ethical Principles of Psychologists and Code of Conduct. Retrieved January 10, 2019,
from: https://www.apa.org/ethics/code/index.aspx?item=5#906

Miller, F. G., Wendler, D., & Swartzman, L. C. (2005, September 6). Deception in research on the placebo effect. Plos Medicine, 2(9). doi:https://dx.doi.org/10.1371%2Fjournal.pmed.0020262

Fisher, C. B. (2017). Decoding the ethics code (fourth ed., pp. 46-53). Los Angeles, CA: SAGE Publications, Inc. Retrieved January 8, 2019, from https://www.gcumedia.com/digital-resources/sage/2016/decoding-the-ethics-code_a-practical-guide-for-psychologists_ebook_4e.php


2 posts

Re: Topic 3 DQ2

Deception can and should be used in unique situations that require the study design to have omission of details that might alter the participants responses that is being studied, This information can be withheld and shared after the study (OSU, 2019). Researchers must have specific justifications and have proper safeguards for using deception for the protection of the participants welfare and rights.

An example of deception would be, giving a participant a quiz and telling them they did poorly when its not true to gage their emotions and behavior. There should also be a plan in place to handle possible negative effects of the participants involved.

The APA ethics code states that deception can only be used when “it is the best and only feasible method, it will not cause pain or distress, and participants will have the opportunity to understand the deception as soon as possible with the option to withdraw their data should they so choose (UOV, 2019).” The elderly and children should not be part of deception studies because they may not understand the reasoning or be able to make logical decision about participating in the study.


OSU. (2019). Research involving Deception. Retrieved from research.oregonstate.edu: https://research.oregonstate.edu/irb/policies-and-guidance/guidance/research-involving-deception

UOV. (2019). When is Deception and/or Witholding Information from Participants Appropriate? Retrieved from www.virginia.edu: http://www.virginia.edu/vpr/irb/sbs/resources_guide_deception_appropriate.html



2 posts

Re: Topic 3 DQ2

“Researchers using deceptive techniques intentionally withhold information or misinform participants about the purpose of the study, the method-ology, or roles of research confederates” (Fisher, 2017).

When deception is used in a research stud a Psychologist should get consent from the participating parties in the research. If deception is used in any Psychologist’s research studies and the participants are not fully aware of the deception, this will affect the APA’s general principles. We should never use deception for our research studies, this will go against the ethics code. Using deception goes against the ethical and moral codes as a Psychologist. When using deception, it is to get the results of the research and not thinking about the participants in the studies.

The American Psychological Association has set a code of conduct for the 8.07 Deception in Research for Psychologist when using deception during his/her research studies. “The 8.07 Deception in Research (a) Psychologists do not conduct a study involving deception unless they have determined that the use of deceptive techniques is justified by the study’s significant prospective scientific, educational, or applied value and that effective nondeceptive alternative procedures are not feasible.(b) Psychologists do not deceive prospective participants about research that is reasonably expected to cause physical pain or severe emotional distress.(c) Psychologists explain any deception that is an integral feature of the design and conduct of an experiment to participants as early as is feasible, preferably at the conclusion of their participation, but no later than at the conclusion of the data collection, and permit participants to withdraw their data” (American Psychological Association, 2018).


American Psychological Association. (2018). Retrieved from Ethical Principles of Psychologists and Code of Conduct: https://www.apa.org/ethics/code/index.aspx?item=5#906

Fisher, C. B. (2017). Decoding the ethics code: A practical guide for psychologists. Thousand Oaks: Sage Publications, Inc.


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