IRB Guidelines for Using Deception in Research
In studies involving deception, the reasons for the deception must be fully justified to the IRB and the subject must be given a complete explanation of the study upon completing her/his participation.
The use of deception by an investigator for the purpose of securing subject participation and/or to prevent potentially biased reporting of data/information by the subject is permissible provided all of the following conditions exist:
- Deception is necessary due to the lack of alternative procedures for data collection not involving deception.
- The deceptive procedures will not place subjects at significant financial, physical, psychological, or social risk.
- The data collection/experiment will be followed by careful debriefing sessions whereby the subjects are fully informed of the nature and purpose of the deception.
- The procedures for deception should meet any available professional code of ethics or guidelines established by the discipline of the investigator.
Note: research that uses intentional deception is typically not eligible for an exempt or expedited review.
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