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PSYB01 - Ethics and External Validity (near-verbatim)

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Connie Boudens

Ethics in Psychology Research Nov 29, 2012 Material after exam+ chapters on experiments: 8,9,10 Appendix a: section on organization of the report (end at figures) Appendix b: everything up to the ½ way down page 362 – after that know what each test is used for: Chi square, f-test, correlation coefficient Today: Ethics, External Validity, How to present your work Why do we need ethical guidelines?  Protects reputation of psychology  Layppl think that psychology = read ppl’s minds and manipulate them – but this isn’t true – need to make sure psychology has good reputation  Ensure ppl are treated properly, not psychologically damage  Everyone knows what the rules are  Helps ensure participants stay  Minimally harmful and maximally beneficial to research participants  Know that procedures being done were reviewed by ethics committee  They know that it’s safe to participate in  Don’t want to harm people intentionally  To researcher may seem not harmful but ethics committee may point out how it may harm others  Past ethical violations  Tuskegee syphilis study  On ppl who already had syphilis (b4 penicillin found to be a cure); wanted 2 see how ppl would deteriorate mentally/physically over time  Autopsy ppl’s brain  Controversy: at that time, they did discover that penicillin is a cure for syphilis but they weren’t provided to the ppl in the study; so those ppl who could’ve been saved were sacrificed for this study  Participants in study – low levels of literacy (wouldn’t read publications, didn’t have medical knowledge) , poor  Researchers didn’t make the cure available to them  Had to do with medical ethics  Milgram  Psychology studies The Milgram Studies  Obedience to authority (after WWII – wanted to know why Nazis and German ppl compliant to these authority figures)  Teacher watched learner being strapped into chair (had heart condition)  Shock generator panel – 15 to 450 volts  Higher shocks for every mistake  How far ppl would go in delivering the shocks if the experimenter told them that he had to continue?  Participants – stopped once in while, was hesitant but experimenter would flatly say that they must continue; the experimenter would say that the experimenter would take full responsibility and participant wouldn’t take any responsibility  67% went all the way to 450V; even after learner is silent (dead or unconscious)  Even though the participants found out at the end that the learner was actually an actor and hadn’t been shocked at all but there were still some controversy b/c now the participants know something about themselves – that they would willingly lethal shock to somebody just based on someone else telling them to do it Potential Harm /Violation of privacy  Psychological harm includes:  Self-esteem  Embarrassment / humiliation  No alcohol in the drink  Milgram study  Anxiety / discomfort  Effects of autonomic system on arousal  Sudden rush of adrenaline injected – jumpy and agitated  Revealing negative things  Implicit associations test – shows that you have –ve opinions about particular groups  May not have realized how negative your opinion is  Always consult with others  Especially if giving it to diverse population where you don’t know how they’ll react to certain thing  Always debrief  Usually paper with details of study and who to contact for more info  But if there’s potential for psychological harm and if it is more involved; assure that they’re not what the study said they were  Offer counselling if necessary  Risk must always be minimized, and benefit weighed against risk  Physical harm hardly ever occurs – would be rejected by ethics board  The worst could be where they use a pain tolerance measure (in ice water) Guidelines for research – every institution has their own guidelines but they all relate to Belmont report Based on Belmont Report (1979) – in response to Tuskegee Syphilis study:  3 basic principles:  Beneficence  Maximize benefits for participants/society & minimize harm  respect for persons  seeing research participants as real ppl; treat w/ respect  informed consent required; anonymity; ensuring that they are autonomous (have option 2 stop participating if they want 2)  justice  fair distribution of the benefits and burden of the research  pertains to random assignment  drug research for ex: you have terminal disease and included in study for experimental drug; still need a control group – won’t receive the drug; ensure everyone has equal opportunity to be in either group  psychotherapeutic research  control group isn’t denied it but they are put on waiting list – waiting list controls – get treatment after study is over  other guidelines may contain additional things, but it always has these 3 things Organizations that will set up their own guidelines  APACode of Ethics o American psychological association – applies to research as well as the practice of psychology (clinical psych)  Guidelines for human subjects research in Canada  Institutional Review Boards (IRB’s) o Every university/hospital o For some research, this is exempt – don’t have to go thru IRB  Levels of Risk: o Exempt research – no possibility of risk o Minimal risk o Greater than minimal risk  For each of these types, there’s a diff review stream that research will go thru  U of T Research Ethics Board(s) o Overview of the requirements for submission o Will tell you if it is exempt – will always have to submit o But if exempt – just go straight forward o If administrative review – means that they looked @ it for some basic stuff – debriefing form etc; and then it goes thru o Expedited review = faster o Forward review = where all of the ppl on review committee have to approve this – usually when there’s some there’s ethical concerns o Usually have recommendations or they’ll deny it  Proposed research application form Informed Consent  Not always required  Anonymous questionnaires  Naturalistic observations – in public  If introduce intervention – have to do informed consent – can get it afterwards and ask if u can use their data  Another place where you don’t need informed consent – if using secondary data; data collected by someone else for another purpose  If using novels written by someone, diaries published online – 2ndary data  If something copyrighted – need permission – but don’t need informed consent  Includes:  Description of study  Risks / discomforts  Guarantee of anonymity  Never associate data with your name  Keep list of name/ID separate from data  ID of researcher  Right to withdraw  Statement re: compensation  Offer to provide findings Coercion to participate People didn’t feel comfortable withdrawing from Milgram study (even though they were told they could) because of the authority figure; also if provide large sum of money for participation, they don’t have option to withdraw really (need the money perhaps)  No excessive inducements  Offer alternatives to participating  Additional considerations  Special groups  Prisoners, minors, ppl with reduced cognitive capacity – ppl who don’t really have the freedom to participate  Even if give consent to participate, they may not fully understand what they’re agreeing to  Doesn’t mean you can’t use these populations – will have to go thru extra steps – extra documentation  Field research  Which behaviors are considered public?  Some things are borderline – for ex) if you go into public bathroom – still have some expectation of privacy  Internet research:  Can give ppl questionnaire 4 ppl to fill out on internet – have informed consent preamble  Or go into chatroom – what ppl saying about certain thing  Public vs. private online behaviour  FB = highest privacy option; but you need something off that; types of pics ppl post and how related to person’s age; but you know someone who is friends with that person – can you ask that person to download person’s pics even though private  Use of pseudonyms, usernames to gain entry / acquire information  Is it ok to pretend to be someone else to get info Were the Milgram studies ethical? Still considered very controversial – a lot of knowledge gained but some of these ppl psychologically harmed (never really recovered) Yes, because…  “Bad outcome” not forseeable  Milgram tried to evaluate harm and undo it  Extensive questioning of participants to make sure they were okay  Offered free psychotherapy.  Evidence indicates study was not harmful • Benefits were enormous • Excellent data obtained • Informative to participants No, because  No informed consent obtained  Participants did not feel free  Distress External Validity of Research 2 types of questions:  Do results generalize “across”:  Other settings  Populations  Times  Other research methodologies  Tends to be more important to ppl conducting basic research  This type of external validity = generalizability  Do results generalize “to”:  Particular setting  Particular population  Tends to be more important for applied researchers – because don’t particularly care whether particular phenomenon will hold true for all ppl, all times, everywhere – just want to k
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