Debriefing Form for Participation in a Research Study

To debrief participants at the end of a study is mandatory in case of deception and highly recommended in all the others cases. Please find below a template of a debriefing form for a study with deception (download here). You can also download a template of debriefing from for standard studies.

Debriefing Form for Participation in a Research Study

Thank you for your participation in our study! Your participation is greatly appreciated.

Purpose of the Study:

Earlier in our consent form we informed you that the purpose of the study was [insert brief sentence about original stated purpose of study]. In actuality, our study is about [insert statements describing i) what the true purpose of the study is, ii) the actual deceptive activities (this includes any fake articles or research stimuli that were utilized) and iii) the results/findings you were/are looking for].

Unfortunately, in order to properly test our hypothesis, we could not provide you with all of these details prior to your participation. This ensures that your reactions in this study were spontaneous and not influenced by prior knowledge about the purpose of the study. [Insert statement reiterating any fabricated research activities or stimuli to ensure participants do not leave study believing false materials.] If we had told you the actual purposes of our study, your ability to [insert study activity] could have been affected. We regret the deception but we hope you understand the reason for it.


Please note that although the purpose of this study has changed from the originally stated purpose, everything else on the consent form is correct. This includes the ways in which we will keep your data confidential.

Now that you know the true purpose of our study and are fully informed, you may decide that you do not want your data used in this research. If you would like your data removed from the study and permanently deleted please tick the following box.

“I do not agree to have my data used from the study”.

If Applicable: Whether you agree or do not agree to have your data used for this study, you will still receive [insert compensation for study] for your participation.

Please do not disclose research procedures and/or hypotheses to anyone who might participate in this study in the future as this could affect the results of the study.

Final Report:

If you would like to receive a copy of the final report of this study (or a summary of the findings) when it is completed, please feel free to contact us.

Useful Contact Information:

If you have any questions or concerns regarding this study, its purpose or procedures, or if you have a research-related problem, please feel free to contact the researcher(s), [insert name(s) and email(s)].

Once again, thank you for your participation in this study!