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Contemporary College Students’ Attitudes about Deception in Research

Jon Lasser

Professor of school psychology at Texas State University

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Gail Ryser

Research fellow and project manager with Methodology, Measurement, and Statistical Analysis (MMSA) at Texas State University

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Dora Borrego

Earned her degree in psychology at Texas State University

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Emma Ham

Graduate student in the school psychology program at Texas State University

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Karla Reyes Fierros

Psychology undergraduate at Texas State University

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Julia Pruin

Psychology undergraduate at Texas State University

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Peyton Randolph

Biology and psychology undergraduate at Texas State University

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First published: 22 January 2020

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ABSTRACT

Given the widespread use of deception in psychological experiments and the frequent recruitment of college students as participants, scholars have taken an interest in the ways college students assess the potential costs and benefits of deception studies. It stands to reason that the engagement of participants not as mere subjects, but rather as participant partners, demands at least an awareness of how such participants consider the moral dimensions of deception. To this end, the present study replicates a project conducted almost 25 years ago to determine whether today's college students think about deception in research any differently than their counterparts did in the early 1990s. This article reviews some of the literature on deception, describes the original study conducted, and presents the results of the replication study.

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