Why Do Psychologists Use Deception In Research

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One of the ethical issues psychologists struggle with, is the use of deception in their researches. When a researcher intentionally misleads participants in the process of research or gives them deficient information about the conducting research in such a way that causes unwilling actions of the participants, deception has been occurred (Kimmel, 2011, p.582). To give an example, suppose the goal of a study is to measure the degree of self-esteem, but the researcher tells the participants that the study is about the memory. Many researchers believe that deception increase the validity of the study since the participants act naturally under such condition, and therefore increases the chance of obtaining an accurate result accelerating the speed of the science development. On the other…show more content…
He believes that although the use of deception was common among the psychologists in a century ago, the obedience study of a social psychologist, Stanly Milgram raised questions about the morality of deception use. Before the Milgram research, psychologists like Edgar Vinacke employed deception in many of their studies. Some Vinacke’s studies were such that not only deceived the participants, but also exposed them to embarrassing and painful experiences. Although these studies raised some arguments, because “the use of deception was not particularly widespread” (Kimmel, 2011, p.580), they did not have any outcome. Moreover, the time of these researches were accompanied by the time that the scientific psychology was flourishing. Milgram’s obedience study, however; triggered the conflicts about the use of deception since the result of the study attracted many people to the study, made it very popular at the time. Therefore, the popularity of the study provided a chance for critics to challenge the use of deception in studies (Kimmel,
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