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Confederates

Not to be confused with soldiers of the South during the U.S. Civil War, confederates in a research sense are individuals who participate in an experiment, yet are not the ones being observed by the researcher. In other words, confederates can be considered the actors for which a researcher needs to observe the behaviors from others in the same context. For instance, a researcher measuring culture shock in a particular context may instruct a confederate to act as though shocked when entering an unfamiliar cultural setting to assess the responsive behaviors of the other participants involved. To decide whether to use a confederate in a study, researchers must determine the various risks and benefits.

In the following example, there was little risk associated with involving a ...

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