Reinvention journal volume 13 issue 2 cover


informed consent


Briefing a participant is necessary to obtain informed consent. However, briefing can change a participant’s behaviour; for example, knowledge of an upcoming memory test might cause you to attend experimental stimuli more so that you look clever in the test. Studies that try to measure natural behaviour therefore use deception to avoid this behaviour change. This merely flips the problem from a methodological one to an ethical one. This paper guides future research of a potential solution: myriad-briefing is a technique of presenting a collection of possible tasks to ambiguate the nature of the experiment so that participants consent to the experimental tasks without knowing what the experiment will involve. Before more extensive investigation of the application of myriad-briefing, this paper investigated two salient caveats. Part 1 obtains feedback from participants about myriad-briefing to see if more information deters participation. Results find no negative effect of myriad-briefing on participant willingness to participate. Part 2 tests whether participants pay attention to myriad briefing in online studies to see if the technique is applicable. Results find that too few participants read the briefing to produce an observable effect suggesting myriad-briefing is best applied to laboratory settings.

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