Ethical decision making and research deception in the behavioral sciences: An application of social contract theory

A.J. Kimmel, J.G. Klein, Craig Smith

    Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

    15 Citations (Scopus)

    Abstract

    Despite significant ethical advances in recent years, including professional developments in ethical review and codification, research deception continues to be a pervasive practice and contentious focus of debate in the behavioral sciences. Given the disciplines' generally stated ethical standards regarding the use of deceptive procedures, researchers have little practical guidance as to their ethical acceptability in specific research contexts. We use social contract theory to identify the conditions under which deception may or may not be morally permissible and formulate practical recommendations to guide researchers on the ethical employment of deception in behavioral science research.
    Original languageEnglish
    Pages (from-to)222-251
    Number of pages30
    JournalEthics & Behavior
    Volume21
    Issue number3
    DOIs
    Publication statusPublished - 24 May 2011

    Keywords

    • deception in research
    • ethical decision making
    • social contract theory

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