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Psychology Research Ethics

Ethical Issues

❶Almost all research guarantees the participants confidentiality -- they are assured that identifying information will not be made available to anyone who is not directly involved in the study.

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Ethical Standards - Researchers Should...


This is where participants are misled or wrongly informed about the aims of the research. Types of deception include i deliberate misleading, e. The researcher should avoid deceiving participants about the nature of the research unless there is no alternative — and even then this would need to be judged acceptable by an independent expert.

However, there are some types of research that cannot be carried out without at least some element of deception. In reality, no shocks were given and the learners were confederates of Milgram. This is sometimes necessary in order to avoid demand characteristics i. Another common example is when a stooge or confederate of the experimenter is used this was the case in both the experiments carried out by Asch.

However, participants must be deceived as little as possible, and any deception must not cause distress. Researchers can determine whether participants are likely to be distressed when deception is disclosed, by consulting culturally relevant groups. If the participant is likely to object or be distressed once they discover the true nature of the research at debriefing, then the study is unacceptable.

The true nature of the research should be revealed at the earliest possible opportunity, or at least during debriefing. Participants, and the data gained from them must be kept anonymous unless they give their full consent.

No names must be used in a research report. What do we do if we find out something which should be disclosed e. Researchers have no legal obligation to disclose criminal acts and have to determine which is the most important consideration: Ultimately, decisions to disclose information will have to be set in the context of the aims of the research. Participants should be able to leave a study at any time if they feel uncomfortable. They should also be allowed to withdraw their data.

They should be told at the start of the study that they have the right to withdraw. American Psychological Association ethical principles of psychologists and code of conduct. A history of debriefing in social psychology. Applying Hamlet's question to the ethical conduct of research: Don't have time for it all now? No problem, save it as a course and come back to it later.

Share this page on your website: This article is a part of the guide: Select from one of the other courses available: Don't miss these related articles:. Check out our quiz-page with tests about: Back to Overview "Ethics in Research". Search over articles on psychology, science, and experiments. Leave this field blank: The Nuremberg War Crimes Trial following World War II brought to public view the ways German scientists had used captive human subjects as subjects in oftentimes gruesome experiments.

In the s and s, the Tuskegee Syphilis Study involved the withholding of known effective treatment for syphilis from African-American participants who were infected. Events like these forced the reexamination of ethical standards and the gradual development of a consensus that potential human subjects needed to be protected from being used as 'guinea pigs' in scientific research.

By the s, the dynamics of the situation changed. Cancer patients and persons with AIDS fought publicly with the medical research establishment about the long time needed to get approval for and complete research into potential cures for fatal diseases.

In many cases, it is the ethical assumptions of the previous thirty years that drive this 'go-slow' mentality. After all, we would rather risk denying treatment for a while until we achieve enough confidence in a treatment, rather than run the risk of harming innocent people as in the Nuremberg and Tuskegee events.

But now, those who were threatened with fatal illness were saying to the research establishment that they wanted to be test subjects, even under experimental conditions of considerable risk. You had several very vocal and articulate patient groups who wanted to be experimented on coming up against an ethical review system that was designed to protect them from being experimented on. Although the last few years in the ethics of research have been tumultuous ones, it is beginning to appear that a new consensus is evolving that involves the stakeholder groups most affected by a problem participating more actively in the formulation of guidelines for research.

While it's not entirely clear, at present, what the new consensus will be, it is almost certain that it will not fall at either extreme:


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We are going through a time of profound change in our understanding of the ethics of applied social research. From the time immediately after World War II until the early s, there was a gradually developing consensus about the key ethical principles that should underlie the research endeavor.

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Ethical Considerations can be specified as one of the most important parts of the research. Dissertations may even be doomed to failure if this part is missing. According to Bryman and Bell ()[1] the following ten points represent the most important principles related to ethical considerations.

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The important ethics in research that scientists must follow. Examples of problematic experiments and preventing unethical research. Ethical and Legal Aspects of Human Subjects Research in Cyberspace. It has become very easy to collect both experimental and survey data using the Internet. It has become very easy to collect both experimental and survey data using the Internet.

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Obviously,ethical issues can be raised throughout all phases of research, notably problem definition,stating research objectives/ hypotheses, literature review, choice of research design,questionnaire design, data collection procedures, data editing and cleaning, choice ofstatistical methods, data analysis, conclusions and recommendations, and. Finally, education in research ethics should be able to help researchers grapple with the ethical dilemmas they are likely to encounter by introducing them to important concepts, tools, principles, and methods that can be useful in resolving these dilemmas.