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Lecture 4

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University of Toronto Mississauga
Jayne Baker

Lecture 4: Ethics January 28, 2013 Ethics in Social Research  Learning Outcomes: ◦ Explain the role of ethics reviews in research (part of research cycle) ◦ Apply the research cycle  Framing Questions: ◦ What does it mean to be ethical as a researcher?- certain procedures to follow/not to follow, do we always have to be ethical? Why be ethical? ◦ How do we protect the people involved in research? – what are we protecting them from and does this limit our research? Stanley Milgram & Obedience to Authority  From BBC’s The Heist ◦ Whether participants increase level of shock simply because the “scientist” tells them to ◦ Guy in white coat telling them to do certain things and majority follow Why be ethical?  Professional oath /standard  Ensure safety of participants (having a regard for your participants); confidentiality  To maintain soundness of research design (have participants at all to be able to carry out research)  Honesty from participants  Thinking of implications of research; reputation as a researcher, job prospects (want to be employable)  Legal reasons  Humane thing to do; ethical people by nature The Basic Idea The Rights of Participants The Pursuit of Knowledge  Balancing rights of participants with pursuit of knowledge Ethical Guidelines in Canada  Government regulation of ethical research: Tri-Council Policy Statement ◦ Canadian government document regarding researching principles that covers all disciplines  History: Nuremberg Code ◦ Six Core Principles:  Voluntary Consent  Avoidance of unnecessary suffering  Avoiding of any experiment where death or injury is likely  Termination of research if it will cause harm  Research conducted by the highly qualified only  Results aimed at the good of society and are unattainable by any other method – rights of participants and attainment of knowledge and there is no other way Research pushing the boundaries…  Zimbardo’s Prison Experiment ◦ To investigate prison environment ◦ Evaluate specific roles of guards and prisoners ◦ Stanford University basement transformed into mock prison ◦ People will readily adapt to social roles that they are expected to play ◦ Prison environment was an important factor in creating guard’s brutal behaviour  Humphrey’s Tea Room Trade ◦ Tea room- men’s public toilets ◦ Analyzing homosexual acts taking place in these tea rooms ◦ Men participating in these activities didn’t necessarily identify themselves as gay, were from several different backgrounds ◦ **Separating sexual identity from sexual acts; not fluid and not on a continuum ◦ Didn’t disclose his researcher goal; acted as a look out so men would be protected from authorities ◦ Didn’t receive participants consent ◦ Copied down their licence plate numbers (without consent) and used this information to go into their homes and interview them about their lives  Milgram’s Obedience Study Preventing Unethical Research  University’s have ethics review boards ◦ Need to apply for ethical approval in order to conduct research ◦ Fill out a protocol form 3  Example: UTM undergrad research  1) Group Vulnerability- asks questions about who the participants are intended to be (i.e. age)  2) Research Risk- idea of harm in research project; methodology itself Protecting the Rights of Participants  Voluntary and informed consent  Voluntary: no coercion  Informed: “An agreement by participants stating they are willing to be in a study after they learn something about what the research procedure will involve.” (Neuman and Robson 2012: 49). ◦ Lay out all facts of study (informed abo
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