Debriefing, the process of sharing and discussing information after a mission, meeting, project or other event, is important because it allows key players to obtain important information and leads to process improvement. When completing blind research studies, debriefing is important to provide the research subjects with information about deception and ways that the research might affect the subject in the future.
The term "debriefing" comes from the military. Mission participants participate in debriefing when missions are over. They share information about what happened and how effective the mission was. The debriefing process provides commanding officers with information to improve future missions. Discussing the mission helps the participant come to terms with any problems and deal with emotional issues surrounding the task.
In contemporary times, debriefing is used in many areas. In the business world, workers conduct debriefing sessions after meetings and projects. They discuss strengths and weaknesses in an attempt to figure out what works well and to share ideas for improvements. According to Entrepreneur magazine, regular debriefing sessions after any meeting or project completion lead to continuous improvement and increased productivity in all different types of industries.
During medical and psychological research, debriefing is an important ethical consideration. Researchers often need to withhold information from participants to maintain the integrity of the study. Once the study is over, participants need to be debriefed to learn more about the research in which they participated. Letting the participants know how to get help for any emotional issues due to the study is an important part of the debriefing process.