Research

Embrace of Deception in Experiments Puts Social Scientists in an Ethical Bind


Rita McNeil Danish lost her bid for a spot on the Franklin County Common Pleas Court last November. She says a field experiment involving a political-science scholar "directed voters toward a more partisan, political perspective" in a campaign that was supposed to be nonpartisan.
September 14, 2015 Premium content for subscribers. Subscribe Today

Judges were sent letters asking them to recuse themselves from cases. Voters received fliers just before an election that broadcast candidates’ party affiliations. Drivers were told to break traffic laws.

All are examples of studies engineered by...

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