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What Is Deception In Psychology

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Should Deception Ever Be Used In An Experiment

Honest liars — the psychology of self-deception: Cortney Warren at TEDxUNLV

It is generally not acceptable to deceive humans in human studies. In some cases, it is necessary to mislead participants in a study in order to obtain unbiased information about them. It is important that the Institute Review Board carefully examines proposals that use deception or misrepresentation.

Is Honesty Always The Best Policy

Intentions matter when it comes to behaviorits often a deciding factor in the lawand there are times when lies can help others or shield them from harm. Sometimes lies are told to prevent difficult conversations, such as those involving critical feedback, and they may appear protective. But they can ultimately disadvantage the recipient by depriving him or her of useful information that can promote positive change.

How To Spot Deception

Researchers have long searched for ways to definitively detect when someone is lying. They know that some people are better at lying than others their visual and verbal cues are in sync with what they are saying. But studies consistently show that most people are terrible at detecting deception, performing no better than chance. Theres evidence that many people have inaccurate beliefs about signals of lyingfor example, that fidgeting is always a giveaway.

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The Asch Conformity Experiment

The Asch experiment is a good example of the use of deception where the harm experienced by the participants was minimal. Solomon Asch wanted to study how group social pressure affected conformity. He asked people to match the length of line segments with others of a similar size. Subjects were almost 100 percent accurate when matching the length of the line alone. He then had confederates disagree with the participants judgments. He found that approximately one-third of subjects then said they agreed with confederates even though the confederates were wrong, thus exhibiting the impact of social pressure. Although deception was used in this experiment, the value of the conclusions appears to outweigh the level of harm experienced by participants.

History Of Deception In Social Psychology

Deception in psychological research  a necessary evil?

The use of deception can be tied to the earliest experiments in social psychology, but it began in earnest after World War II when social psychology began to prosper. In the 1960s and 1970s, many of the most famous and most important social psychology studies involved deception. One famous example is Stanley Milgrams studies of obedience in which the participants were told that they were to deliver strong electrical shocks to a participant sitting in the next room. The shocks were never administered, although the other person, who was a confederate, reacted as if they were. As a result of critiques of these types of studies, both the type and amount of deception used in current social psychology studies tend to be less extreme.

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Study Methods And Design

Given that university students are the population most likely to participate in psychological research,31 they were the group selected for participation in this study. Participants were 183 undergraduates, 56.3% female, from a large university in the northeastern United States. Participants were recruited from the universitys psychology participant pool and received research credit for their participation.

Participants signed up for a study whose objective was described as looking at how people rate certain objects and people. Because our study involved more than one independent variable, we used a 3 × 2 × 2 between-subject factorial design . Two male and two female undergraduate research assistants were involved in the development of the procedure and conducted all experimental sessions. Multiple role-playing sessions were conducted with the research assistants to ensure consistency and comfort with the procedure.

Why Is Deception Useful

In order to obtain unbiased data with respect to the subjects attitudes and behavior, subject deception is typically used to promote scientific validity, with subjects provided with false or incomplete information about the research in order to obtain unbiased data with respect to the subjects attitudes and behavior when complete or truthful disclosure is

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Cons Of Deception In Psychological Research

There is obviously some good to be found in utilizing deception in psychological research. However, there are some cons that should be taken into account, as well:

1. Even the best of intentions can go horribly wrongThe problem with deception in psychological research is that even when researchers go into the project with the very best of intentions, there is some potential for harm to the patients. One of the most interesting components to many of the worst examples of the consequences of deception is the fact that in many cases, malice was the furthest thing from the mind of those responsible for the project.

2. The potential for abuse still existsUnfortunately, even with stringent ethics in place, it is possible for an individual or even a group to intentionally abuse the concept of deception in psychological research.

3. The risk factors remainEven under the best of circumstances, there is still a risk potential with virtually all research projects that utilize some form of deception. There are psychological risks to consider, in addition to social risks and more. The potential risk factor can vary in seriousness from one project to the next, but there is no getting around the fact that the risk potential exists in virtually all psychological research projects.

4. Does knowledge truly create a bias? Some believe that only in the most extreme circumstances would full disclosure create a bias that could damage the validity of the study.

Definition Of Deception In Psychology

Ethics of Milgrams deception – Intro to Psychology

Firstly, deception has to be used if there is no other alternative of gaining accurate information.

Secondly, it should not harm the subjects either mentally or physically, and

Finally, once the truth has been revealed and the participants claim for withdrawal the researcher needs to respect his or her decision.

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How Do I Know When Im Lying To Myself

Most people are not aware of the ways they fool themselves. But psychologist have identified many signals of self-deception. Outsize emotional reactions to present situations, behavior that is out of step with who you claim or aim to be can be indicators that we believe things about ourselves that are false or fail to believe things that are true.

When Can Deception Be Used In Psychology

It is often stated that deception in psychological research is acceptable only when all of the following conditions are met: 1) no other nondeceptive method exists to study the phenomenon of interest 2) the study makes significant contributions to scientific knowledge 3) the deception is not expected to have a significant impact on

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The Many Forms Of Deception

There are sins of commission and sins of omission omitting information and concealing the truth are considered lies when they are done with an intent to deceive. In addition to statements that are false, deception encompasses statements that misrepresent or distort facts as well as the withholding of information. People can lie through outright statements or by strategic silence.

What Kinds Of Lies Do People Tell


People may deliberately create false information or fabricate a story. But most often, sheer invention is not the soul of lying. Rather, people deceive by omitting information, denying the truth, or exaggerating information. Or they might agree with others when in fact they dont, in order to preserve a relationship. Self-serving lies, on the other hand, help liars get what they want, make them look better, or spare them blame or embarrassment.

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The Pros Of Deception In Psychological Research

If you want to study some examples of deception in psychological research, look into the Stanford Prison Experiment, in addition to the BBC follow-up. You will also want to do some reading on the Piliavin and Piliavin Experiment.

And as you study those particular examples of deception in psychological research, consider the following pros of deception in psychological research:

1. Deception is necessaryWith at least some of the psychological experiments being conducted, a certain degree of deception is absolutely essential to generating the kind of results that will make the entire endeavor meaningful. Accuracy and validity are obviously cornerstones to any psychological research project. Without deception on at least some level, it is difficult to imagine certain experiments reaching optimal levels of both validity and accuracy.

2. The intentions are generally goodWhile this may not sound like much of a pro, its important to understand that deception in psychological research is not an inherently evil concept. While there are most definitely examples of deception being used to evil extremes, the truth of the matter is that for the most part, the intentions behind the use of deception are good.

These are some of the more obvious pros of deception in psychological research. However, the pros do not paint a complete picture by any means.

When Can A Psychological Researcher May Use Deception In Research

It is often stated that deception in psychological research is acceptable only when all of the following conditions are met: 1) no other nondeceptive method exists to study the phenomenon of interest 2) the study makes significant contributions to scientific knowledge 3) the deception is not expected to have a significant impact on

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Pros And Cons Of Deception In Psychological Research

The pros and cons of deception in psychological research represents an extremely complex subject. On the surface, we are tempted to reject the notion of deception in psychological research outright. However, as you are going to discover, things are not as simple as deferring to that opinion each and every single time.

Are Lie Detector Tests Reliable

The Psychology of Self-Deception

One of the best-known methods, the polygraph test, is based on the theory that lying alters normal psychophysiological patterns that can be detected by sensitive machinery. Although popular in crime dramas and movies, the test has long been controversial, with no evidence that there are definitive fluctuations in physiology. Evidence suggests that those with certain psychiatric disorders, such as antisocial personality disorder, cannot be accurately measured by polygraph or other common lie-detection methods.

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How Do I Lie To Myself

Deception isnt always an outward-facing act. There are also the lies people tell themselves, for reasons ranging from maintenance of self-esteem to serious delusions beyond their control. While lying to oneself is generally perceived as harmful, some experts argue that certain kinds of self-deceptionlike believing one can accomplish a difficult goal even if evidence exists to the contrarycan have a positive effect on overall well-being.

What Are Body Language Signals Of Lying

Covering a neck with a hand, raising the inside edge of a foot, compressing the lipsall are signs of tension that has been linked to lying. There is a widespread belief that the body and face are always honest and provides reliable clues to lyingoften called tellsif you know what to look for. But experts now believe that there a no single behavior indicative of deception, although such so-called nonverbals should be seen as alerts to possibly concealed or suspicious information that requires further probing.

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The Robbers Cave Experiment

The goal of Muzafer Sherifs experiment was to see how a group of fifth-grade boys handled intergroup conflict. Sherif and his team brought two groups of boys to a summer camp setting and then proceeded to introduce variables to pit the two groups against each other before attempting to bring them together with a task in which they were forced to work together. The whole experiment was deceptive the boys believed they were attending summer camp, not participating in a social experiment on group dynamics. To begin with, trying to invite conflict between unknowing groups of people is of questionable ethics. The fact that the subjects were fifth graders makes it even more controversial. Although the experiment exhibited the power of inter-group social dynamics, its manipulation of children lent ammunition to critics of the use of deception.

What Are The 5 Ethics In Psychology

The Psychology of Deception. Why humans lie about everything
  • The first principle is to be benevolent and non-maleficent
  • The second principle is Fidelity and Responsibility
  • Integrity is Principle C.
  • The following are the three principles: Principle D:
  • Respect for peoples rights and dignity is Principle E
  • Issues of ethical concern are resolved.
  • I have the ability to do this.
  • The concept of human relations.
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    Has Fake News Always Been A Problem

    Although the term fake news is relatively recent, the dissemination of deliberately false information, or disinformation, to manipulate public attitudes is not new. Nazi propaganda spread anti-Semitic lies to further Hitlers goals of exterminating the Jews. The internet enables the creation and spread of fake news, including doctored videos, at high speed and puts the burden of verification of information on the reader. Experts advise people to generally exercise skepticism, especially at information that is surprising, and to always check the reputation of news sources.

    Is Lack Of Eye Contact Always Revealing

    There is a longstanding belief that the eyes are a window to the truth, that liars are shifty and inadvertently signal their deception by averting their gaze or altogether avoiding looking a conversation partner in the eye. But science gives the lie to that belief. In fact, researchers have found that people make more eye contact when lying than when telling the truth.

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    Justifying The Use Of Deception In The Irb

    Federal regulations prohibit the use of deceptive techniques that place participants at greater than minimal risk. An investigator proposing to use deception or incomplete disclosure should justify its use in the IRB-1 protocol application. Address the following when preparing the IRB-1:

    • In the procedures section, justify use of deception and explain why deception is necessary to achieve the goals of the study. Explain if alternative methods not involving use of deception were considered and why these methods are not being used .
    • In the procedures section, explain the process to debrief participants. Explain when participants will be debriefed and who will debrief them. Provide copies of the debriefing statement that will be given to participants and the script that will be used by the researchers to orally explain the study .
    • In the risk section, explain if use of deception is likely to cause the participant psychological discomfort while the deception is taking place. Explain how this risk will be minimized during the experiment and after the experiment is complete .
    • Complete the waiver of consent section. When participants are not given complete information about the study in the consent document, the IRB must waive certain required elements of the consent process . See below for additional information.

    Can Deception Be Used In Research

    Use of Deception in Psychology Experiment

    The use of deception is limited to situations where there is no reasonably effective, alternative method available to achieve the researchs objectives. The IRB has determined that deception can only be used with study components that do not pose a significant risk. It is imperative that researchers debrief subjects about deception whenever possible.

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    Informed Consent Requirements With Use Of Deception In Research

    Potential participants should be advised in the consent form that the information they are given is not complete and that they will be debriefed after the research procedures are completed. Address the following when preparing the consent form/information sheet:

    • In the Why is this study being done? section, provide a truthful and accurate explanation of the purpose of the study to the extent possible, without priming participants or by giving too much of the study away.
    • Include the following statement in the What will I be asked to do? section, Some research requires that the full purpose of the study not be explained before you participate. We will give you a full explanation at the end of the study. Please note: the last sentence can be further customized to say, We will give you a full explanation as soon as you complete the study.

    Why People Engage In Deception

    According to one expert, lies are like wishesoften, what is said are things people wish were true. A large body of research identifies three major reasons why people lie: to get something they want, so-called instrumental reasons to protect or promote themselves and to harm others. Avoiding punishment may be the main motivation for both children and adults.

    While everyone lies a little, it appears that only a small percentage of people do most of the lying. Theres evidence that prolific liars share the personality trait of Machiavellianism: They are manipulative and exploitative of others the trait is closely related to psychopathy.

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    What Are The 4 Goals Of Debriefing

    In order to ensure participants are informed of all deceptive elements of the study, participants are also required to understand the occasional need for deception in some research, and participants are also required to leave the study with a better understanding of social psychological research and a positive attitude toward it.

    What Are Deceptive Practices In Research

    The psychology of most important self deception

    A definition is a description of something. An experiment that deceives subjects or withholds full information about its nature is called deception. It is possible for investigators to omit or mislead information about the purpose of the study, the role of the researcher, or what experimental procedures are being used.

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    Is It Ethical To Use Deception In Research

    It is generally not acceptable to deceive humans in human studies. In some cases, it is necessary to mislead participants in a study in order to obtain unbiased information about them. It is important that the Institute Review Board carefully examines proposals that use deception or misrepresentation.

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