Deceived versus nondeceived participants' perceptions of scientific and applied psychology

Ethics and Behavior 5 (1):87 – 104 (1995)
Research examining the possible effects of deceptive research participation on participants' perceptions of psychology has yielded equivocal results. The present study's goal was to clarify the possible effects of participation in mildly deceptive research on participants' impressions of scientific and applied psychology. Participants (N = 112) were randomly assigned to one of six experimental conditions: active groups receiving negative, positive, or no feedback, or passive groups receiving negative, positive, or no feedback. Following participation, participants completed measures of impressions of psychotherapy and psychotherapists, researchers, and instructors. The manipulation did not affect attitudes toward psychology on any of the dependent measures, although gender effects resulted on one measure. Participants in general reported very positive attitudes toward the science and practice of psychology. Recommendations are offered for future research on the effects of more extensive deceptions.
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