Active The intentional presentation of misinformation about a study to its participants. The most
deception common form of active deception is misleading participants about the specific purpose of
the study. Also known as commission.
Anonymity The practice of ensuring that an individual’s name is not directly associated with the
information or measurements obtained from that individual. Keeping records anonymous is
a way to preserve the confidentiality of research participants.
APA Ethics A common set of principles and standards on which psychologists build their professional
Code and scientific work. This Code is intended to provide specific standards that cover most
situations encountered by psychologists. Its primary goal is the welfare and protection of
the individuals and groups with whom psychologists work.
Clinical The ethical issue requiring clinicians to provide the best possible treatment for their
equipoise patients, thus limiting research to studies that compare equally preferred treatments.
Commission See active deception.
Confidentiality The practice of keeping strictly secret and private the information or measurements
obtained from an individual during a research study. APA ethical guidelines require
researchers to ensure the confidentiality of their research participants.
Consent form A written statement by the researcher containing all of the elements of informed consent
and a line for the participant’s signature. The consent form is provided prior to the study so
that potential participants have all the information they need in order to make an informed
decision regarding participation.
Debriefing A postexperimental explanation of the purpose of the study. A debriefing is given after a
participant completes a study, especially if deception was used.
Deception The purposeful withholding of information or misleading of participants about a study. There
are two forms of deception: passive and active.
Ethics The study of proper action.
Fraud The explicit efforts of a researcher to deceive