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The IRB looks closely at the use of concealment and deception in research projects because of the possible increase in harm to the human subjects.

Concealment definition: Information is withheld from the participant prior to the decision to consent or during the experiment. Justification can be made that the results of the study may be tainted if the participant were fully informed of the research question or design.

Deception definition: False information is deliberately given to the participant either prior to or during the experiment.

The JCU IRB will usually require the following for experiments involving deception:

  1. The justification for the use of deception
  2. Alternatives to the use of deception that were considered and why they were rejected
  3. Recognition of the risk of using deception
  4. Methods of minimizing risk and dealing with any resulting mistrust or harmful effects after the experiment
  5. A debriefing statement and possibly a re-consenting process allowing for the opportunity to withdraw the data from the study

If you have any questions about the use of concealment or deception in your study, please contact the IRB Administrator.