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Deception (Methodological Technique)

Definition

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 may occur in research.

  • 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.
  • The researcher omits some 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 ...
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