What Is Deception in Research? Is It Allowed in Research?

Deception in Research


Have you ever deceived someone through your words or actions? If yes, you may know what the meaning of deception is. The same is the case with research studies. When you provide false and forged information instead of evidence-based and concrete information, it is called deception in research. Remember that deception is a critical issue and comes under ethical issues. A deception not properly justified can lead you to severe consequences. The researcher deliberately provides false and misleading information to answer the research questions. Now, it depends on the scenarios whether you are allowed to use deception in research or not. Today’s article is all about discussing deception and those scenarios in detail. It will discuss some types of deception as well. So, let’s begin our discussion at News Ethnic with the following question;

What is the ethical issue of deception?

Values like integrity and transparency are vital in any kind of research. Without these values, any research will be considered unethical. In case of any non-transparency found, the researcher may have to bear severe consequences. Deception in research is also an ethical issue. It is because you are using false and forged information that does not relate to the original research. If you use deception in your research, then know that ethical concerns are high. The reviewer or teacher will check all the parts carefully and with the utmost attention. Thus, a deception is ethically incorrect, but sometimes you can use it with justification and still find it difficult to overcome mistakes. To avoid that, you can hire a dissertation proposal writing service.

Types of deception

Deception is of two types based on the information provided in the research. A brief description of the two types is as follows;

Active deception

This is the type of deception that you will encounter mostly in research. Active deception is providing false and forged information intentionally. The researcher deliberately edits or forges information to deceive the reader. He tries to imply that he has answered all the research questions.

Passive deception

It is the second type of deception in research that you will see. This deception involves withholding or partial disclosure of the information. The researcher does not intentionally provide the complete data and information about the research questions. The researcher intends to mislead the readers about the research purpose.

What is the main rule of deception in research methodology?

The use of deception is still under debate. Many researchers say that it is unethical to use deception in the research as it challenges the authenticity of the research. Others believe that you can use deception in research under some rules. They say that the researchers must consider some things before using deception. You must be thinking about what those things are. Hence, below is a brief description of all those points;

No other nondeceptive method exists.

Research methods are critical to any research. It is the method using which the researcher conducts his research and explains his findings. The relation of methodology with deception is very clear. Sometimes, there can be a situation where you do not find any method to study the research question except deception. In such scenarios, you can use deception methods in your research to answer the questions.

Research makes significant contributions to knowledge.

It is the second rule of using deception in research. The researchers can use this technique when they are sure that this study will make significant contributions to the existing knowledge. Without this, they cannot use deception in their study. In systematic research, the researchers must show what they have done and got after applying their methods. Therefore, it is mandatory to know beforehand what contributions your research will be making. Also, know that those contributions must be of a premium level. Little expansion in the knowledge is not a good justification for using deception.

Deception does not cause harm or distress.

Another rule of using deception in research is that it should not cause any significant harm and distress to the readers. Sometimes, the ethical issues can cause distress and harm the author too. For example, upon identifying the deception, the researcher may lose his job or position as a research assistant or associate. These things cause harm and emotional distress to the authors. Therefore, you must make sure that your deception is very well justified and that you know how to counter the board’s questions. This way, you can use deception in research. Otherwise, there is no other way of using it.

Is deception allowed in research?

After reading the information above, you must have known what deception is and its types. Till this point, you only know that deception is an ethical issue, and you should avoid it as much as you can. Now, in this section of today’s article, let’s talk about the allowance of deception in research.

Deception is providing false and wrong information intentionally. If you are a researcher, you must know that no research can cope with false information. The future of the researcher depends on his research. Although universities demand original research from their students, you can say that it is strictly prohibited to use deception in research studies. Moreover, if students still use it, they will have severe consequences. Also, you must know that deception is only allowed in three cases. Those cases are listed below:

  • When there are no other nondeceptive methods available to answer the research questions, the researcher can use them.
  • The contributions of the study are significant to the existing knowledge.
  • The deception does not cause any pain or emotional distress to the participants.


Although not very common, many researchers still use deception in research. Researchers in psychology mostly use this in their research. Remember that deception is not allowed in general cases. It is only allowed in research in the cases mentioned above. Therefore, you should only use deception whenever you encounter one of the aforementioned scenarios.