Deception in psychology has generated a number of critiques in every research field which involves the participation of human beings. Individuals may feel uneasy when the find out that they were deceived in by researcher thus many argue that this is unethical while others state this is an essential trick in research. Psychology entails the study of human and behavior and if individuals are conversant with what is being tested, their reaction will be different as compared to when they had not been initially informed. Individuals will pretend to be who they are not in order to suit the situation and this makes the results invalid (Athanassoulis,2009).
The information that can be gathered when deception is utilized is more valid as compared when the psychologist is completely sincere to participants. When the researcher is honest, the probability of obtaining invalid data is high. The participants will try to adapt their behavior to the expectation of the psychologists since they are deciphered from the objective of the study. Furthermore, various psychological studies always focus on behaviors which are not allowed in the society thus individuals will encouraged to hide for the reasons well known to themselves. In such a scenario, behavior such as discrimination cannot be exposed during the research (Holman,2013). The target group will assume the false identity by projecting a false image regarding them. Take for example a study carried by Rosenhans that was named as ‘sane in insane places’. In order to test the hypothesis and obtain the results he needed, he had to deceive the hospital staffs. Furthermore, in his follow-up study, he deceived the staff. The study might have psychologically affected the staffs it results to reviews on how to diagnose schizophrenia and other disorders, meaning it played an essential role in helping to improve the dependability of diagnosis as psychiatrists were now worried when diagnosing patients as schizophrenic when they are not sure. This reduced the number of admitted patients in the premise and helped in reversing some of the treatments that the patients were to receive (Holman,2013).
Additionally, deception provides a chance for experimental situations which cannot be experienced in a natural manner but which should be explored since they are socially significant. An example is assisting behavior during a crisis; the best way of investigating this in detail is to come up with an artificial situation by having confederates assuming different roles such to recording the reaction of those involved (Boynton et al. 2023). Furthermore, deception raises a social gain as it helps to reveal the behavior of certain individuals in our society. The significant of deception is not easy especially to ignore when considering the data regarding negative aspects, the behavior that can have a negative effect on the person or participants near him. Deception hence ensures that those individuals who have been identified to having bad behaviors are informed in order to develop the mechanism that will help them to control themselves (Christensen,1988). The essay has focused on the benefits of using deception in psychology study but under the specified conditions as deceptions can be dangerous in some situations. Before psychologist use deception, they should make sure that it does not harm the participants.
Athanassoulis, N., & Wilson, J. (2009). When is deception in research ethical?. Clinical
Ethics, 4(1), 44-49.
Boynton, M. H., Portnoy, D. B., & Johnson, B. T. (2013). Exploring the ethics and psychological
impact of deception in psychological research. IRB,35(2), 7.
Christensen, L. (1988). Deception in Psychological Research When is its Use
Justified?. Personality and Social Psychology Bulletin, 14(4), 664-675.
Holman, A. (2013). Ethical controversies regarding the use of deception in the psychological
research. Revista Romana de Bioetica, 11(1).
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