The Meaning of 'Deceive' in Experimental Economic Science
The Oxford Handbook of Professional Economic Ethics, George DeMartino and Deirdre McCloskey (eds.), Oxford University Press, 2016.
10 Pages Posted: 17 May 2015 Last revised: 2 Apr 2021
Date Written: March 4, 2014
Deceiving someone in our everyday lives is a moral failing, one that we are adept at detecting and quick to judge in the words and actions of others. In our professional lives as economic scientists we are also quick to judge experimental procedures as deceptive, but we have problems articulating what that means. Rather than classifying experimental procedural details as deception or not based upon what experimenters and participants may or may not know about the experiment and each other, I propose a general rule for adjudging the actions of experimenters as deceptive: Did the experimenters mislead the participants by false appearance or statement? If the answer is yes, then the experimenters have deceived the participants.
Keywords: experimental economics, deception
JEL Classification: A13, B4, C90
Suggested Citation: Suggested Citation