ERIC Number: ED189523
Record Type: RIE
Publication Date: 1980-Apr
Reference Count: 0
Ethical Issues in Research: How Harmful is Deception?
Smith, Charles P.; And Others
One function of a Human Subjects Committee is to review the possible adverse effects of ethically problematic experiments. The concerns of an institutional review committee about the possible adverse effects of an ethically-problematic "cheating" study were examined with regard to the actual effects reported by the subjects. Retrospective reactions of undergraduates (N=36) in a cheating study were compared with those of participants (N=42) in two ethically-neutral studies. Cheating-study subjects reported more feelings that the research had entailed deception, and experienced more anxiety and embarrassment than subjects in the other two studies. However, even those who reported feeling "quite a lot" of anxiety or embarrassment did not report a negative "overall response" to their participation. Most subjects reported positive attitudes toward the research experience. The three groups did not differ in response to questions concerning informed consent, coercion, confidentiality, invasion of privacy, the harmfulness of deception, regrets about participation, or attitude toward social science research. Findings suggest that the concerns of the Review Board were not borne out to any appreciable extent, perhaps due to the extensive debriefing and precautions taken to assure anonymity by the researchers. (Author)
Publication Type: Reports - Research; Speeches/Meeting Papers
Education Level: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Note: Paper presented at the Annual Meeting of the Eastern Psychological Association (51st, Hartford, CT, April 9-12, 1980).