SOCIOL 1000: Research Ethics

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Research Ethics Ethics · As do other researchers, sociologists attempt to be objective, that is value-free in doing research · Objective - To avoid or prevent one’s personal views from influencing their observations, research, and conclusions · 3 notorious cases of a violation or ethics are: o Tuskegee Syphilis experiment o Milgram experiment o Laud Humphreys Tuskegee · An experiment beginning in 1932 by the Tuskegee Institute inAlabama with funds from the United States Health Service · Sample population: 400 black males currently living with syphilis · 200 of the 400 men were used as a control group, receiving placebos instead of actual medicine to treat the disease · Syphilis the disease: o Some effects of the disease include blindness, mental retardation, and death · Violation of ethics: o Respondents were not told the true nature of the study causing some their lives o Despite the discovery of penicillin in 1947 as a treatment for syphilis, the study continued in the mid-1970s o Respondents did not give any informed consent § Informed Consent – An agreement made before the study beings, stating that the respondents are willing to participate in the study only after the purposes have been thoroughly explained Stanley Milgram Study (1960s) · Published in his book Obedience to Authority · Nazism – Milgram asked, “How the Nazis were able to follow out Hitler’s commands for ‘ethic cleansing’?” · The people doing harm to the Jews under the rule of Hitler, were not simply evil people, but were instead average everyday people · What then, enabled these average people to commit such acts with such regularity? · To address this question, Milgram designed a research study to measure the level of obedience people are willing to give members of authority · Respondents were told that they would be participants in an experiment that would study the effects of punishment on learning ability · The “teachers” were asked to administer increasingly sever electric shocks to the “learner” when questions were not answered correctly · In response to the “supposed” shock, the “earner (actually an actor) would begin to complain at lower levels of shock as the voltage increased, so did the “learners’” response to the shock · The shock levels were labeled from 15 to 450 volts labeled: o Slight shock o Moderate shock o Strong shock o Very strong shock o Intense shock o Extremely intense shock o Danger: Severe shock o XXX · Learner responses: o At 75 volts, the “learner” would grunt o At 120 volts, the “learner” would complain about the pain of shock o At 150 volts, the
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