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Deception, Incomplete Disclosure, and Debriefing

The IRB recognizes that the uses of deception and incomplete disclosure in research are valuable research techniques. Deception and incomplete disclosure are often necessary, especially in social and behavioral research, in order to avoid demand effects and response bias in subjects. However, these techniques raise concerns for the IRB because they interfere with the subject's ability to make a fully informed decision about whether or not to participate in the research. Thus, any proposed research involving deception or incomplete disclosure will be subject to careful consideration by the IRB including whether there is adequate justification for the use of such techniques and if the consent and debriefing process is sufficient and appropriate.