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Lecture 3

PSYB01 Psychological Research Lab - Lecture 3.docx

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University of Toronto Scarborough
Anna Nagy

PSYB01 Psychological Research Lab Lecture 3 Research Methods – Ethics (Con’t) Case Study: Video - Milgram Experiment (Testing of obedience to authority) -2 Participants, one act as educator and one act as student. ->The educator will give electric shocks to the participant acting as student when he or she answers the question wrong (although the student isn’t actually being shocked) ->When the participant acting as educator refuse to continue the experiment, the experimenter would force he or she to continue (Testing obedience) - If he or she continues, that means the participant is obedient to the authority without caring if the thing he or she is doing is wrong or not - If he or she discontinues, that means the participant is willing to disobey something that is wrong, such as inflicting electrical shock to another person is a torture to that person Obedience -Clear that experiment an important one: provides insight into the dynamics of obedience. ->Yet—is it ethical?? ->How do we determine this? -Obedience in the experiment (Does participants has to obey what the experimenter told them to do? Or can participants decide to leave anytime when they feel uncomfortable during experiment?) ->E.g., Milgram Experiment on the test of obedience -Few participants refused to continue the experiment when he or she felt uncomfortable but the majority continued to do so as the experimenter told them to do so. ->Why does that happen? -Feel obligated during experiment -Diminish of power -Not respecting the experimenter -Just following orders -Money reward Obedience—Considerations Principle of Beneficence: ->Need to do no harm ->Need to maximize potential benefits and minimize risk of potential harmful effects ->Risk-benefit analysis -Risks: psychological & physical harm; loss of confidentiality -Benefits: increase education; acquire skill; receive treatment for illness >Satisfaction of participating >Beneficial application of results -Challenges ->Corporate or political influence that wants a certain results from the researches that benefits them (slippery slope in research) ->Vulnerability of participants (Wellbeing of the participants that researchers must be mindful of) -E.g., Prison experiment -> cause of Psychological harm New drug development -> cause of Physical harm Stigma, ostracism -> cause of Social harm Bribery, request for money -> cause of Economic harm Informed Consent: ->Purpose of study ->Risks and benefits of participation ->Right to refuse or stop participating >Participants fully understand what the study is about, the risk and benefits -May be challenged by ->Lack of autonomy (Diminish of power. Can the individual make a free and informed decision?) ->Coercion (Reward of money) *Do you think informed consent would have affected the outcome of the Milgram study? ->Would behaviour alter?
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