Appropriate Use of Deception

Appropriate Use of Deception

Module 05 Discussion – Appropriate Use of Deception in Research



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Deception is often a necessary component of social science research. The Asch (1951) studies were discussed earlier in the module. Some situations are not appropriate for deception to be used. The Milgram Obedience studies were examples where deception was used inappropriately. As a reminder, these were the studies that involved the participant believing they subjected other research participants to extreme levels of electrical shock. These would not be approved by a responsible IRB.


You are a member of your institution’s IRB. A researcher has submitted a research proposal that is requesting permission to complete a questionable research study. The researcher is asking the IRB to approve that proposal which involves inflicting a small amount of physical pain on the participants. The amount of pain has been described as “similar to a needle stick”. The research proposal does appear to be valuable to science.

  • Would you approve, reject or ask for a revision of the research proposal? What is your rationale for your decision? Post your response.
  • Respond to one other student who responded differently than you. Discuss what you agree and disagree with regarding their post.


Due dates for your initial and response posts can be found by checking the Course Calendar.

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