Deception in psychology : Moral costs and benefits of unsought self-knowledge

Accountability in Research 13:259-275 (2006)
Abstract
Is it ethical to deceive the individuals who participate in psychological experiments for methodological reasons? We argue against an absolute ban on the use of deception in psychological research. The potential benefits of many psychological experiments involving deception consist in allowing individuals and society to gain morally significant self-knowledge that they could not otherwise gain. Research participants gain individual self-knowledge which can help them improve their autonomous decision-making. The community gains collective self-knowledge that, once shared, can play a role in shaping education, informing policies and in general creating a more efficient and just society.
Keywords psychology  deception  self-knowledge
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