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The use and abuse of student participants

Foot, Hugh and Sanford, A. (2004) The use and abuse of student participants. The Psychologist, 17 (5). pp. 256-259. ISSN 0952-8229

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Abstract

Students play a crucial role in research: some authors have even called them human 'fruit flies' (e.g. Keith-Spiegel and Koocher, 1985; Rubenstein, 1982). They are available in abundance, accessible and highly convenient to use. It is just so much easier than using populations outside the universities. Despite warnings about basing the scientific roots of our discipline on biased participant populations, research in psychology remains heavily reliant upon student participation.