Empirical Assessment of the Ethics of the Bogus Pipeline1

Authors

  • Herman Aguinis,

    Corresponding author
    1. Graduate School of Business Administration University of Colorado at Denver
      2 Correspondence concerning this article should be addressed to Herman Aguinis, Graduate School of Business Administration, University of Colorado at Denver, Campus Box 165, P.O. Box 173364, Denver, CO 80217-3364. e-mail: Herman.Aguinis@cudenver.edu; http://www.cudenver.edu/~haguinis
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  • Christine A. Henle

    1. Colorado State University
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  • 1

    The research reported in this article was facilitated by a Faculty Seed Money Award from the University of Colorado at Denver to Herman Aguinis. We thank Mary F. Frontczak for assistance with data collection, and Mitchell M. Handelsman and Kevin R. Murphy for helpful comments on previous drafts. However, the opinions expressed in this article are the sole responsibility of the authors.

2 Correspondence concerning this article should be addressed to Herman Aguinis, Graduate School of Business Administration, University of Colorado at Denver, Campus Box 165, P.O. Box 173364, Denver, CO 80217-3364. e-mail: Herman.Aguinis@cudenver.edu; http://www.cudenver.edu/~haguinis

Abstract

This study investigated the ethics of the bogus pipeline (BPL), a deceptive method used to enhance the validity of self-reported attitudes and behavior. Potential participants in BPL studies (N= 180) read 1 of 6 descriptions of published articles using the BPL, and provided their perceptions of the costs and benefits of using this method. Results indicate that the BPL is perceived, overall, as a useful and ethical research method. Although they might experience some unpleasant emotions when exposed to the BPL, potential participants believed that the studies using the BPL should have been conducted and that their benefits outweighed the costs. The present empirical results will allow institutional review boards, granting agencies, and other policymakers to complement value-based perspectives with utilitarian-based perspectives in making decisions regarding the use of the BPL.

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