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Lecture 10

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Department
Psychology
Course
PSYB01H3
Professor
Connie Boudens
Semester
Fall

Description
Ethics in Psychology Research Prof’s Speech – Purple Text Why do we need ethical guidelines?  Protects reputation of psychology as a science  Helps ensure participants stay o If participants know and understand procedures were reviewed and signed off on by an ethics committee, they know they’ll be safe and may potentially benefit  Don’t want to harm people intentionally o There might be something in your study that an ethics committee would find harmful  Past ethical violations o Tuskegee  Syphilis study, medical ethics  Done on people who had syphilis before penicillin was found to cure the illness  After the people past away, autopsies were done  During the time of the study, found out about penicillin’s benefits, but it was not provided to those in the study o Milgram  Psychology ethics  Studies on obedience to authority after WWII The Milgram Studies  Obedience to authority  Milgram was interested in why people during the war listened to Nazis  Teacher watched learner being strapped into chair o Learner expresses concern over “heart condition”  Shock generator panel – 15 to 450 volts o Teacher was to shock the learner when he answered a question incorrectly  Higher shocks for every mistake  Results revealed interesting things about obedience  Audiotape plays “learner” complaining about the shocks and his heart  Milgram wanted to see how far people would go in shocking the learner – “the experiment requires that you continue” Potential Harm /Violation of privacy  Psychological harm includes:  Self-esteem  Embarrassment / humiliation  Anxiety / discomfort  Revealing negative things about the participant  i.e. negative opinions about a certain group  Always consult with others when getting a study underway to make sure that ideas/methods are appropriate  Always debrief research participants  Usually information paper with description and contact information  Offer counselling if necessary  Risk must always be minimized, and benefit weighed against risk Guidelines for research Based on Belmont Report (1979): (report issued in response to the Tuskegee Syphilis Study)  3 basic principles:  Beneficence – maximize benefits for participants and society as a whole, minimize harm  respect for persons – autonomy protection uses courtesy, informed consent  everything that has to do with view and treatment of participants  justice – distribution of fair benefits and burdens  i.e. in drug research, people in control group don’t receive experimental drug – but have to make sure that they receive all benefits  i.e. psychotherapy – control group is waitlisted for treatment so they get the treatment when the study is over  APACode of Ethics  Guidelines for human subjects research in Canada  Institutional Review Boards (IRB’s) o Exempt research, minimal risk and greater than minimal risk  U of T Research Ethics Board(s) o Administrative review – look at your stuff to make sure the basics are present o Full board review – all members of the board have to review  They may deny your proposal, in which case you will have to send it back for more review after revising  Proposed research application form Informed Consent  Not always required  Process of making sure participants know what they are in for  Anonymous questionnaires, naturalistic observations in public places, etc. do not require informed consent  Secondary data sources – published material, novels, etc. – do not need consent  Copyrighted material – need consent  Includes:  Description of study  Risks / discomforts  Guarantee of anonymity  ID of researcher  Right to withdraw  Statement re: compensation  Offer to provide findings Coercion to participate  Make sure that people don’t feel coerced to participate  Informed consent has to let them know that nothing bad will happen to them if they choose to withdraw  No excessive inducements  Offer alternatives to participating  Additional considerations o Special groups – minors, prisoners, people with cognitive impairments, etc. may not fully understand what they are agreeing to  Field research o What types of behaviour are actually public?  Internet research: o Public vs. private online behaviour o Use of pseudonyms, usernames to gain entry / acquire information  Is it okay to pretend to be someone
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