Amelioration of deception and harm in psychological research: The important role of debriefing

Stevens S. Smith, Deborah Ruth Richardson

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

76 Scopus citations


Determined the effects of deception and harm on research participants' perceptions of their experiences in psychology experiments. In addition, the role of debriefing in reducing any negative effects was examined. 464 undergraduates who had participated in psychology experiments during the academic quarter completed questionnaires on their perceptions of harm and benefit, adequacy of debriefing, and experimenters' behavior. Ss who had been deceived evaluated their experience more positively than those who had not participated in deception experiments. Also, effective debriefing seemed to eliminate negative effects perceived by Ss who felt they had been harmed. (26 ref) (PsycINFO Database Record (c) 2006 APA, all rights reserved).

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1075-1082
Number of pages8
JournalJournal of Personality and Social Psychology
Issue number5
StatePublished - May 1983
Externally publishedYes


  • deception &
  • efficacy of debriefing, perception of harm in psychology experiment experience, college student research participants

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Social Psychology
  • Sociology and Political Science


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