Debriefing of Participants

Debriefing is the counterpart to the informed consent stage that occurs when participants are recruited for research, including communication research, and it is a central consent component of study designs involving the deception of human participants. Debriefing is the act of informing participants about the intentions of the study in which they just participated; during this process, researchers reveal any deceptions that occurred and explain why deception was necessary. Debriefing typically occurs at the conclusion of participants’ study involvement. The purpose of this entry is to further explicate debriefing research participants. First, the process of debriefing and the functions of debriefing are described. Then, the entry discusses how debriefing operates in different contextual research situations, such as when children are participants or after ...

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