Ethical Decision Making and Research Deception in the Behavioral Sciences: An Application of Social Contract Theory
58 Pages Posted: 10 Sep 2010
Date Written: September 9, 2010
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
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