II. The Use of Deception
Psychologists always lie!
—A research participant, to Social Psychologist Herbert Kelman
Before discussing the role of deception in behavioral science research it might be helpful to acknowledge that social and behavioral scientists have produced a considerable body of literature studying the nature of deception itself.151 My focus here is on intentional deceit by researchers as an instrumental technique enabling the conduct of research that presumably could or would not be carried out otherwise. In this context I use the following simple definition: deception consists of intentionally misleading research participants about any aspect of a study.152 The process frequently entails the creation of what Seeman (1969) euphemistically called “fictional environments” within which a study is carried out.____________________