Project Title

The Effects of Deception and Stress on Participants and Researchers

Presenters

Academic department under which the project should be listed

RCHSS - Psychological Science

Faculty Sponsor Name

Jennifer Willard

Abstract (300 words maximum)

Deception plays a vital role in psychological experiments investigating false confessions. This study examines participants’ and researchers’ reactions to the use of deception and stress in a cheating paradigm. Participants were randomly assigned to play the role of participant-confederates or innocent-participants. Participant-confederates were asked to cheat on a test and then send a plea for their partner (i.e., innocent-participant) to falsely admit guilt. Innocent-participants are then falsely accused of cheating. Researchers assessed participants’ reactions to confrontations and participants’ perceptions of their study experience. All participant-confederates were willing to deceive a naïve participant. Of the 24 confrontations, two sessions were terminated due to excessive stress in innocent-participants. All participants’ stress levels were lower after debriefing. Additionally, participants who were deceived and those who acted as deceivers tended to rate their study experience positively. Lastly, one of the four undergraduate researchers falsely confronting participants requested changing to a non-confrontation role. Results suggest that even though most participants and researchers were not negatively affected by the deception and stress induced, caution must still be exercised when using a cheating paradigm.

Project Type

Event

This document is currently not available here.

Share

COinS
 

The Effects of Deception and Stress on Participants and Researchers

Deception plays a vital role in psychological experiments investigating false confessions. This study examines participants’ and researchers’ reactions to the use of deception and stress in a cheating paradigm. Participants were randomly assigned to play the role of participant-confederates or innocent-participants. Participant-confederates were asked to cheat on a test and then send a plea for their partner (i.e., innocent-participant) to falsely admit guilt. Innocent-participants are then falsely accused of cheating. Researchers assessed participants’ reactions to confrontations and participants’ perceptions of their study experience. All participant-confederates were willing to deceive a naïve participant. Of the 24 confrontations, two sessions were terminated due to excessive stress in innocent-participants. All participants’ stress levels were lower after debriefing. Additionally, participants who were deceived and those who acted as deceivers tended to rate their study experience positively. Lastly, one of the four undergraduate researchers falsely confronting participants requested changing to a non-confrontation role. Results suggest that even though most participants and researchers were not negatively affected by the deception and stress induced, caution must still be exercised when using a cheating paradigm.