Deception in Research


In a research project, there are many considerations that make up the design and direction of the research study. What is the problem being explored? Will there be human subjects? If there are human subjects, how are they governed and to what degree? For a research study to be valid, researchers must openly disclose the research methods proposed for the study and honesty present the findings of their study. It is for this reason that a true research study contains an entire section devoted to the research methods used. Only when full disclosure of the research methodologies takes place can proper assessment of the validity of the researcher’s findings and the ethics of the methodology be assessed. View the Crime Analyst in Action media resource (linked in the Resources) for an example of a problem statement, data collection, and ethics considerations in criminal justice research.

The purpose of this discussion is to understand that ethical gray areas exist and fellow researcher may view the same concept very differently. In an effort to highlight varying viewpoints regarding ethics in research, based on your reading assignment and any additional research needed, address the following in your main post:

  1. Devise a list of 3–5 ethical violations in criminological research methodology, based on a study other than the Stanford Prison Experiment.
  2. Analyze whether you would consider each research method a true ethical violation and to what degree.
  3. Explain whether IRB and ACJS ethical standards are enough to ensure that criminal justice research is conducted using ethical research methods.

Discussion Objectives

The competency in this discussion is supported by discussion objectives.

  • Competency 1: Differentiate research methods used by criminal justice agencies.
    • Devise a list of ethical violations in criminological research methodology.
    • Analyze research method ethical violations.
    • Explain whether IRB and ACJS ethical standards are enough to ensure that criminal justice research is conducted using ethical research methods.

Response Guidelines

Respond to the posts of at least two peers. Interact about examples of the research methods that you and your fellow learners deem to be either not ethical violations at all or not as serious ethical violations. Why does unethical research occur? What is it about certain research methods that may make ethical research more or less likely? Share your perspective with others, based on their identification of unethical research methods, as to whether criminologists should be allowed to conduct replications of studies that are known to be ethically questionable. Apply your analysis to the examples shared.

If you support your discussion points with external sources, you must provide citation information such as author and title. However, full APA citations are not needed for discussions.


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