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Can Deception Be Desirable?
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Critics of deception in research allege harm to society, the discipline of psychology, the researchers and participants. However neither empirical findings nor a ‘reasonable-person’ test seem to support those allegations. By and large, researchers who use deception consider its costs and benefits, and the kind and degree of deceit that is typically used in psychology is of a benevolent type. Moreover participants prefer to participate in deception research rather its nondeceptive alternatives. In the light of these premises, we argue that deception can be desirable, especially when considering cost and benefits to research participants