Bibliography: The Use of Deception in Research

In the process of researching the bibliography for the histories of deception, a number of surprises emerged regarding the use of deception in empirical research.  The original list of four references has since expanded into a larger resource on the history of experimental ethics.

Methodological Deception bibliography.

  • Dehue, T.  (2000).  From deception trials to control reagents: The introduction of the control group about a century ago.  American Psychologist, 55(2), 264-268.
  • Gross, A. E. & Fleming, I.  (1982).  Twenty years of deception in social psychology.  Personality and Social Psychology Bulletin, 8(3), 402-408.
  • Herrera, C. D.  (1997).  A historical interpretation of deceptive experiments in American psychology.  History of the Human Sciences, 10(1), 23-36.
  • Nicks, S. D., Korn, J. H., & Mainieri, T.  (1997).  The rise and fall of deception in social psychology and personality research, 1921 to 1994.  Ethics & Behavior, 7(1), 69-77.

See also:

  • Dubrow Eichel, S. K.  (2002).  Can scholars be deceived? Empirical evidence from social psychology and history.  Cultic Studies Review, 1(1), 51-64.

Related histories of ethical practice:

  • Baumeister, A. A.  (2000).  The Tulane electrical brain stimulation program: A historical case study in medical ethics.  Journal of the History of the Neurosciences, 9(3), 262-278.
  • Crocq, L.  (2004).  Histoire du debriefing. / A history of debriefing.  Pratiques Psychologiques, 10(4), 291-318.
  • Dewsbury, D. A.  (1990).  Early interactions between animal psychologists and animal activists and the founding of the APA Committee on Precautions in Animal Experimentation.  American Psychologist, 45(3), 315-327.
  • Freedman, R. I.  (2001).  Ethical challenges in the conduct of research involving persons with mental retardation.  Mental Retardation, 39(2), 130-141.
  • Kuschel, R.  (1998).  The necessity for code of ethics in research.  Psihijatrija Danas, 30(2-3), 247-274.
  • Musto, D. F.  (1977).  Freedom of inquiry and subjects’ rights: Historical perspective.  American Journal of Psychiatry, 134(8), 893-896.
  • Pinals, D. A. & Appelbaum, P. S.  (2000).  The history and current status of competence and informed consent in psychiatric research.  Israel Journal of Psychiatry and Related Sciences, 37(2), 82-94.
  • Roberts, L. W.  (2002).  Ethics and mental illness research.  Psychiatric Clinics of North America, 25(3), 525-545.
  • Singer, E. & Levine, F. J.  (2003).  Protection of human subjects of research: Recent developments and future prospects for the social sciences.  Public Opinion Quarterly, 67(1), 148-164.
  • Temme, L. A.  (2003).  Ethics in Human Experimentation: The Two Military Physicians Who Helped Develop the Nuremberg Code.  Aviation, Space, and Environmental Medicine, 74(12), 1297-1300.

See also:

  • Kopaladze, R. A.  (2000).  Ivan P. Pavlov’s views on vivisection.  Integrative Physiological & Behavioral Science, 35(4), 266-271.
  • Leary, D. E.  (1980).  The intentions and heritage of Descartes and Locke: Toward a recognition of the moral basis of modern psychology.  Journal of General Psychology, 102(2), 283-310.


About Jeremy Burman

Jeremy Trevelyan Burman is a senior doctoral student in York University’s Department of Psychology, specializing in the history of developmental psychology and its theory (especially that pertaining to Jean Piaget). Prior to returning to academia, he was a producer at the Canadian Broadcasting Corporation.

3 thoughts on “Bibliography: The Use of Deception in Research

  1. A great resource, Jeremy. Another interesting ethical issue, particularly for social psychology, that seldom gets much mention is debriefing. Ben Harris wrote a good chapter on this:

    Harris, B. (1988). Key words: A history of debriefing in social psychology. In J. G. Morawski (Ed.), The rise of experimentation in American psychology (pp. 188-212). New Haven, CT: Yale University Press.

  2. And don’t forget Michael Pettit’s 2007 article “Joseph Jastrow, the psychology of deception, and the racial economy of observation” in Journal of the History of the Behavioral Sciences, 43(2), 159-75.

    This article reconstructs the recurring themes in the career of Joseph Jastrow, both inside and outside the laboratory. His psychology of deception provides the bridge between his experimental and popular pursuits. Furthermore, Jastrow’s career illustrates the complex ways in which scientific psychology and pragmatist philosophy operated within the constraints of a moral economy deeply marked by notions of “race.” Psychological investigations of deception were grafted onto two of the human sciences’ leading tools: the evolutionary narrative and the statistical analysis of populations. Such associations abetted the racialization of the acts of deceiving and being deceived. These connections also were used to craft moral lessons about how individuals ought to behave in relationship to the aggregate population and natural selection’s endowment.

  3. Another interesting reference in the present discussion is:

    Berghmans, Ron L.P. Misleading research participants: moral aspects of deception in psychological research. The Netherlands Journal of Psychology, 63 (1), 14-20

    René van Hezewijk

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