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Chapter 3: Ethical Issues and Research


Application to be participant in research requires informed consent (see next) ... informed consent form should be written so that participants understand the ... – PowerPoint PPT presentation

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Title: Chapter 3: Ethical Issues and Research

Chapter 3Ethical Issues and Research
What are ETHICS?
  • is a system dealing with moral principles or
    values (what is right and wrong) and with moral
    duty and obligation
  • the guiding principles of conduct governing an
    individual or a group
  • Soin this class we talk about moral issues
    related to doing research

Milgrams Obedience Experiments
  • Series of experiments (1963, 1964, 1965) designed
    to examine obedience to an authority figure
  • Participants (all male) were paid 4.50 to
    participate in a scientific study of memory and
    learning that was being conducted at Yale

Milgrams Obedience Experiment (cont)
  • Scientist explained that the study would examine
    the effects of punishment on learning.
  • Confederate, middle-aged Mr. Wallace was the
    learner and received the punishment
  • Participant was the teacher and administered the

Milgrams Obedience Study (cont)
  • What happened if the teacher wanted to quit?
  • Approximately what percentage of participants
    continued to deliver shocks all the way to 450
  • What about the ethics of the study?

The Belmont Report
  • Current ethical guidelines have their origins in
    the Belmont Report Ethical Principles and
    Guidelines for the Protection of Human Subjects
    of Research (from Depts. of Ed and Welfare)
  • Three basic ethical principles (more on next
  • 1. Beneficence
  • 2. Respect for persons (autonomy)
  • 3. Justice

Three Basic Ethical Principles
  • The ethical principle of BENEFICENCE
  • is need for research to maximize benefits and
    minimize any possible harmful effects of
  • Requires a Risk-benefit analysis

Assessment of Risks and Benefits (cont)
  • Potential Risks are
  • Physical harm
  • Psychological stress
  • Loss of confidentiality and privacy

Assessment of Risks and Benefits (cont)
  • Potential Benefits are
  • Direct benefits, such as educational benefit,
    new skill, or treatment for a psychological or
    medical problem
  • Material benefits
  • Personal satisfaction
  • Educational Benefit

Three Basic Ethical Principles
  • Ethical principle of AUTONOMY
  • States that participants are treated as
  • That is, they are capable of making deliberate
    decisions about whether to participate in
  • - Application to be participant in research
    requires informed consent (see next)

Informed Consent
  • Requires potential participants are provided with
    all the information that might influence their
    decision to participate such as
  • Purposes of the study
  • Risks and benefits of participation
  • Their rights to refuse or terminate participation

Informed Consent (cont)
  • informed consent form should be written so that
    participants understand the information in the
    form by using
  • Simple and straightforward language
  • Generally 6th to 8th grade level
  • Written using the second person
  • If participants are non-English speakers, there
    should be a translated version of the form.

Informed Consent (cont)
  • Autonomy issues
  • What happens when the participants may lack the
    ability to make a free and informed decision to
    voluntarily participate?
  • - Minors (requires assent by guardian)
  • - Patients in psychiatric hospitals
  • - Adults with cognitive impairments

Informed Consent (cont)
  • Coercion must NEVER be used to obtain
  • This is ANY procedure that limits an
    individuals freedom to consent
  • Examples include physical, psychological,
    monetary threats and promises of extraordinary
    benefits (lotsa money, inducements, physical

Informed Consent (cont)
  • Is use of deception allowed? (more later)
  • If completely honest, informed consent might
    affect the outcome of the study by leading to
  • - Altered or unnatural behavior
  • - Biased participants responses
  • - Biased sample of participants

Informed Consent (cont)
  • Objections to the use of deception in Psychology
  • Morally wrong
  • Harms the reputation of the field

Informed Consent (cont)
  • Is deception a major ethical problem in
    psychological research?
  • Deception is mainly in social psychological
    research and primarily involves the use of false
    cover stories.

(No Transcript)
Informed Consent (cont)
  • Three primary reasons for the decrease in the
    type of elaborate deception seen in the Milgram
  • Research in learning and cognitive variables
    rather than emotions (the methodology used
  • level of awareness of ethical issues has led
    researchers to conduct studies in other ways
  • Ethics committees at universities and colleges
    now review proposed research (and are less likely
    to approve the use of elaborate deception)

Importance of Debriefing
  • Debriefing occurs after the completion of the
  • Researcher must
  • - Explain why the deception was necessary
  • - Make sure participant has calmed down if
    participants physical or psychological state was
  • - Provide additional resources if necessary
  • - Make sure participant leaves experiment
    without any ill feelings toward field of

Alternatives to Deception
  • Role-playing
  • Describes a situation asks participants how they
    would respond or to predict how real participants
    would respond
  • Problems
  • Situation does not involve participants very
  • Demand characteristics
  • Accuracy of responses

Alternatives to Deception (cont)
  • Simulation studies
  • Different type of role-playing that involves
    simulation of a real-world situation
  • Problem
  • Ethical issues (e.g. Zimbardos Stanford Prison
    study, 1973)

Alternatives to Deceptions (cont)
  • Honest experiments
  • Types of honest strategies
  • Participants are completely aware of the purposes
    of the research
  • Participants are aware that someone is trying to
    change their behavior
  • Situations in which a naturally occurring event
    presents an opportunity for research

Justice and the Selection of Participants
  • Ethical principle of JUSTICE
  • Issues of fairness in receiving the benefits of
  • Issues of fairness in baring the burdens of
    accepting risks
  • - Tuskegee Syphilis Study
  • - Issues of equity

Researcher Commitments
  • By doing research, researcher makes implicit
    contract with participants
  • Researcher should be there for the study and on
  • Researchers that promise to send summary of
    results of study to participants should do so
  • If participants are to receive course credit,
    researchers should immediately inform the
    instructors when a person takes part in a study

Federal Regulations and IRB
  • Every institution that receives federal funds for
    research must have an Institutional Review Board
  • IRB has five individuals, one must be from
    outside institution
  • All research conducted by faculty, students, and
    staff associated with the institution is reviewed
    in some way by the IRB
  • Federal regulations of RISK assessed by IRB (see

Federal Regulations of RISK
  • Exempt research
  • Research in which there is no risk
  • - Anonymous questionnaires, surveys, educational
    tests, naturalistic observations in public
    places, etc.
  • Minimal risk research
  • Research when the risk of harm is no greater than
    risk encountered in daily life or in routine
    physical or psychological tests.

RISK (cont)
  • Greater than minimal risk research
  • Subject to thorough review by the IRB
  • Complete informed consent and other safeguards
    may be required

APA Ethics Code
  • APA The Ethical Principles of Psychologists and
    Code of Conduct
  • Known as the Ethics Code
  • Revised in 2002
  • Five general principles relate to beneficence,
    responsibility, integrity, justice, and respect
    for the rights and dignity of others.

APA Ethics Code (cont)
  • Ten ethical standards address specific issues
    concerning the conduct of psychologists in
    teaching, research, therapy, counseling, testing,
    and other professional roles and
  • APA Ethical Principles of Psychologists and Code
    of Conduct

Research With Human Participants
  • Ethical Standard 8
  • 8.01 Institutional approval
  • 8.02 Informed consent to research
  • 8.03 Informed consent for recording voices and
    images in research
  • 8.04 Client/Patient, student, and subordinate
    research participants

Research With Human Participants
  • 8.05 Dispensing with informed consent for
  • 8.06 Offering inducements for research
  • 8.07 Deception in research
  • 8.08 Debriefing

Ethics and Animal Research
  • Institutional Animal Care and Use Committee
  • Reviews animal research procedures and ensures
    that all regulations are adhered to
  • Ethics Code
  • - 8.09 Human care and use of animals in research

  • 8.10 Reporting research results
  • Fabrication of data is fraud.
  • Serious implications to the foundation of
  • Failing to replicate previous work
  • 8.11 Plagiarism
  • Misrepresenting anothers work as your own.

The End