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When deception is used in research projects, it must be justified as a necessary part of the study. Special considerations must also be made when conducting research involving deception in order to protect participant rights.
Deception in research can occur by:
Omission: an important aspect of the study is withheld from the participant
Commission: the participant is misled about the true purpose of the research
Does the deception improve the internal or external validity of the study?
Sometimes subjects will change their behavior or responses to a study if the true nature of the investigation was known prior to participating. This can harm the study’s internal or external validity.
Has this deception design been used in a previous study?
If so, noting this on your application and reporting on any harm (or lack thereof) is useful.
Were alternative procedures considered and why were these rejected?
Do study risks change based on the use of deception?
Address whether the presence of deception increases or does not change the risk of harm to the participant
Is the participant aware of their right to withdraw?
Ensure that your subjects are free to withdraw their data from the study once debriefing has occurred
The IRB provides the following templates for preparing a debriefing statement: