Which Deceptive Practices, If Any, Should Be Allowed in Experimental Economics Research? Results from Surveys of Applied Experimental Economists and Students

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Abstract

Deceptive experimental practices are banned in some professions but are standard in others. Recently, the journals of the Agricultural and Applied Economics Association introduced guidelines that allow researchers to publish articles that use some forms of deception. However, in their present form, these guidelines leave room for interpretation. This situation is not ideal for researchers, and a clearer definition of which deceptive practices should be banned could be beneficial. Our aim is to help provide greater clarity and potential guidance for journal policies regarding deception by using the results of surveys of both researcher and student subjects. Evaluating ten potentially deceptive experimental techniques, we find consistent support for banning certain practices while allowing others.

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