With all experiments it is important that the participant/participants have been informed about all aspects of the research study which is to be carried out. This is why debriefing participants is an essential component of an experiment, one which should not be taken lightly. Ethical obligations have stated that a full explanation of how the results are going to be used, the anonymity of the experiment and the purpose of the research and of course the right to withdraw is required to each individual participant (http://www.wadsworth.com, 2005).
Without a system such as debriefing then the experiment will be violating the ethical guidelines associated with the respect which should be provided to each individual participant provided by the British Psychological Society. The BPS states that the knowledge, insight, experience and expertise of the participants should be respected and that no experiment should be unfair to the public. (http://www.bps.org.uk). Therefore, the debriefing system serves as an important and valid measure to protect potential participants from unfair practice.
Debriefing has been shown to be an effective source for the relief of stress in Psychology which may occur during or even before the beginning of a Psychological experiment. With reference to the effectiveness of debriefing, it has been shown that debriefing was just as effective in the 1900’s when it acted as an intervention into the prevention of event related distress which was shown by the soldiers who participated in world war one who were forced into combat which may have led them to produce certain behaviours which may have contributed to stressful emotions being portrayed. (http://ps.psychiatryonline.org)
In conclusion we all are quite aware by now that if a research study is not valid or reliable then it cannot be published in any shape or form. The debriefing procedure allows the experimenters to get rid of many confounding variables which include the possibility of misleading participants who are partaking within the experiments and certain emotions which may become elated which may be stress related due to the demands of the experiment. At the end of the day the experimenter wants the research to be generalisable towards the general public. Therefore, if the research was violated due to a lack of respect on behalf of the participants (the lack of a debriefing system) then the results will not be viable nor will they correlate with previous research in the area which is being studied.