By its very nature, deception in research violates the principles of voluntary and informed consent to participate in research. Therefore, deception is an extraordinary measure that is not normally permitted in research. In all cases proposed research involving deception must meet the following criteria:
- Risks to subjects are minimal.
- The rights and welfare of the subjects must not be adversely affected.
- Particularly vulnerable subjects (e.g., the cognitively impaired, children, or prisoners) are excluded from research involving deception.
- A reasonable person would be willing to participate in the research if he or she knew the nature and procedures of the study.
- At the earliest possible time, subjects must be informed of the nature of the deception, and given a reasonable opportunity to withdraw from participation.
- Any data collected during the deception may be used only with a subject's explicit approval, obtained after the subject has received full disclosure regarding the study.
- The proposed research is sound in theory and methodology.
- Anticipated findings will contribute significantly to the general body of knowledge.
- Deception is essential to the ability to carry out the research.
- Deception must be minimized to the greatest extent possible.
(Also, see the discussion of deception in Section 3.9 - Informed Consent.)