Ethical Decision Making and Research Deception in the Behavioral Sciences: An Application of Social Contract Theory

58 Pages Posted: 10 Sep 2010

See all articles by Allan J. Kimmel

Allan J. Kimmel

ESCP Europe

N. Craig Smith

INSEAD

Jill Klein

affiliation not provided to SSRN

Date Written: September 9, 2010

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.

Keywords: Deception in Research, Ethical Decision Making, Social Contract Theory

Suggested Citation

Kimmel, Allan J. and Smith, N. Craig and Klein, Jill, Ethical Decision Making and Research Deception in the Behavioral Sciences: An Application of Social Contract Theory (September 9, 2010). INSEAD Working Paper No. 2010/66/AL/INSEAD Social Innovation Centre. Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=1674420 or http://dx.doi.org/10.2139/ssrn.1674420

Allan J. Kimmel (Contact Author)

ESCP Europe ( email )

79 Avenue de la Republique
Paris, 75011
France

N. Craig Smith

INSEAD ( email )

Boulevard de Constance
77305 Fontainebleau Cedex
France

Jill Klein

affiliation not provided to SSRN ( email )

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