Academic journal article Canadian Psychology

Beyond Ethical Obligation to Research Dissemination: Conceptualizing Debriefing as a Form of Knowledge Transfer

Academic journal article Canadian Psychology

Beyond Ethical Obligation to Research Dissemination: Conceptualizing Debriefing as a Form of Knowledge Transfer

Article excerpt

The process of debriefing has been part of psychology for many decades, although it owes its origins to other fields. Debriefing is often tied to research involving deception, however it is part of a much larger set of obligations that psychologists adhere to as professionals operating in an ethical manner. There is some emerging evidence that debriefing participants in research contexts is not taking place frequently or even to the degree that is necessary to impart knowledge. We argue that debriefing can be conceptualized as a form of knowledge transfer, and accordingly can draw on successful strategies from knowledge transfer and exchange and knowledge translation (KT) as these fields are involved in disseminating research knowledge to create awareness, educate, and even teach skills to participants. As well, we contend that psychologists are well poised to develop effective debriefing practices given a research tradition in messaging and innovative community collaborative research. Finally, we provide insights and suggestions for engaging in effective debriefing and future research directions.

Keywords: debriefing, knowledge transfer, knowledge translation, ethics, research dissemination

Résumé

La séance de verbalisation fait partie de la psychologie depuis des décennies, bien qu'elle doive ses origines à d'autres domaines. Le concept de débreffage ou de compte rendu est souvent associé aux recherches sur la déception. Toutefois, il appartient à un ensemble beaucoup plus grand d'obligations auquel se conforment les psychologues suivant une méthode éthique. De nouvelles données laissent entendre que les participants à des recherches ne sont pas informés des connaissances pertinentes aussi fréquemment qu'ils le devraient ou dans la mesure requise. Il est soutenu que le débreffage peut être perçu comme une forme de transfert de connaissances, et ainsi, qu'il peut s'appuyer sur des stratégies fructueuses de transfert des connaissances et d'échange de connaissances et d'application des connaissances puisque ces domaines contribuent à la dissémination du savoir issu de la recherche en vue de sensibiliser, éduquer, voire enseigner des compétences aux participants. En outre, nous faisons valoir que les psychologues sont bien placés pour élaborer des pratiques de débreffage, compte tenu de la tradition de recherche dans la communication de messages et des recherches communautaires novatrices menées en collaboration. Finalement, nous proposons des points de vue et des suggestions pour obtenir un débreffage efficace ainsi que des perspectives de recherche futures.

Mots-clés : débreffage, transfert de connaissances, application des connaissances, éthique, diffusion des résultats de recherche.

The process of debriefing has been part of psychology for many decades, although it owes its origins to other fields. Debriefing is often tied to research involving deception, however, it is part of a much larger set of obligations that psychologists adhere to as professionals operating in an ethical manner. Regrettably, there is evidence to indicate that debriefing participants in a research context is not taking place frequently or even to the degree that is necessary to impart knowledge. The field of knowledge transfer (KT) is dedicated to disseminating research knowledge to create awareness, educate, and effect change in daily practice. We propose that KT theory and practice can be used to conceptualize research debriefing and could provide psychologists with a framework to plan research dissemination to participants in a more effective and purposeful manner. We also draw on research from social psychology and emerging insights from community-engaged participatory research, technology, and the arts which might provide further direction and strategies in the debriefing process. Our aim is to demonstrate that KT theory and practice can provide a useful framework, when coupled with psychological research to more effectively disseminate research findings to participants. …

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