Ethical Issues of Deception in Psychological Research Essay

Custom Student Mr. Teacher ENG 1001-04 29 September 2016

Ethical Issues of Deception in Psychological Research

In psychological studies, ethical issues associated with deception have always the major concern area. It is largely been viewed as something which in long will cause effect on participants’ willingness to be a part of any psychological research. The controversy associated with this issue has itself led to many researches to ascertain the positivity and negativity associated with the use of deception in psychological research. The findings of those researches have been contradictory. Some researcher has indicated that use of deception has a very negative impact on participant’s perception of researchers and hence reduces the possibility of its further participation in the ongoing project as well as any other research in future (Tuffin, 2005)

While on the other hand there are evidences that deception has positive effect and participants have reported that they actually enjoyed being deceived and showed positive participation in the researches in which they are being deceived and feel more benefited than those without deception. Hence it becomes more evident that deception has basically no effect on participants and neither reduces nor increases their willingness in taking part in any future researches irrespective of those requiring deception or not (Lefkowitz, 2003).

The above mentioned two contradictory preferences related to deception actually gives a picture which shows that the people have no clear meaning of deception and it varies from person to person i.e., they have different interceptions of what it actually means. This reinforces the need for further research and hence underscores the requirement for an expanded investigation to figure out the possible effects of deception in a prospective participant and the psychological study.

The beginning of this new research could be initiated through a controlled environment when some of the participants and informed about the use of deception while some are not informed. The final objective is to ascertain the actual impact of deception when both researchers as well the participants have better understanding of deception (O’Donohue, 2003).


O’Donohue, W. (2003) Handbook of Professional Ethics for Psychology. Sage Publication Ltd.,            London. UK

Lefkowitz, J (2003) Ethics and values in industrial-organizational Psychology. Lawrence                      Erlbaum Associates, Inc., Mahwas, NJ

Tuffin, K (2005) Understanding Critical Social Psychology. Sage Publication Ltd., London. UK

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