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Sociology Exam Review.docx

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University of Toronto Scarborough
Rania Salem

Sociology Exam Review Chapter 3: Ethical Issues for social researchers Ethical codes, rebs and the tri- council policy statement - A national set of ethical guidances as established In the 1990s for institutions that receive federal funding - These researches were concerned with human subjects - Medical Research Council, the national science and engineering research council, social sciences and humanities research council formed the tri council working group to create a joint policy concerning ethical standards for research involving humans - Ethical issues in research are both important and ambiguous - The researchers job in designing as study is the carefully consider ethical issues and to explain the goal sand methods of their proposed research clary so the review board can make an informed decision in their particular case. Using Statistics Canada Data - concern for maintaining the confidentiality of those from whom it gathers data - protects confidential information of individuals subjects is to restrict disclosure of information when the number of cases are too few, helping to ensure against inadvertent identification of a research respondent Ethical Issues in Social Research - ethical considerations concerning human subjects are complex and continually evolving - there is not always an agreement on what is or is not ethical - any given research situation may present researches with a new challenging ethical dilemmas - goal is to sensitize you to the ethical component in research so that youll look for it whenever you plan to study - ethics is typically associated with morality (deal with both right and wrong) Ethical Conduct of an ethics frameworkpg 64 1. Respect for human dignity 2. Respect for free and informed content 3. Respect for vulnerable persons 4. Respect for privacy and confidentiality 5. Respect for justice and inclusiveness 6. Balancing harms and benefits 7. Minimizing harm 8. Maximizing benefit: Disclosure: occurs when data can be attributed to individuals respondents persons, households, business Types of disclosure 1) Identity: this occurs when an individual can be identified from the released output 2) Attribute: occurs when confidential information is revealed and can be attributed to an individual. 3) Residual: occurs when released information can be combined to obtain confidential data. - Websters -> ethical -> as conforming to the standards of conduct of a given profession or group - Morality and ethics in day to day life is a matter of agreement among members of a group Important ethical agreements that prevail in social research 1) Voluntary Participation: a major of medical research ethics is that experimental participation must be voluntary, no one should be forced to participate, its often clear that volunteers are motivated by the belief that they will personally benefit from their cooperation. The scientific goal of generalizability ? Field research has its own ethical dilemmas, the researcher cannot revel that the study is being done because they fear that the results will be affected, clearly, the subjects of study in such cases are not given the opportunity to volunteer or refuse to participate. It is often impossible to follow this. 2) No harm to the participants: social research should never injure the people studied, whether they volunteer or not. For example, revealing, information ma that would embarrass them or endanger their home life, friendships, jobs and so forth. They can be harmed psychologically, Ethical Norms of voluntary participation and no harm to participants have come formalized in the concept of informed consent (a norm in which research subjects base their voluntary participation in a study of a full understanding of the potential risks involved) 3) Anonymity and confidentiality: - Anonymity, may be guaranteed in a research project when neither the researchers nor the readers of the findings can identify a given response with a given respondent ex) mail survey, online. Some issues cant keep track of who has or hasnt returned the questionnaires. They hope to increase the likelihood and accuracy of responses - Confidentiality, a research project guarantees confidentiality when the researcher can identify a given persons responses by promises not to do so public. Ex) interview survey, Deception: - Identities is an important ethical consideration - Handling your own identity of a research can be tricky - Have to practise as a con artist to get people to participle in a laboratory experiment or complete a lengthy questionnaire without letting on that you were conducting research - Deceiving people is unethical - Deception within social research needs to be justified by compelling scientific or administrative concerns - One solution is to tell subjects that youre conducting the study as part of a university research program, concealing your affiliation with the welfare agency. This raises serious ethical issue - It is appropriate to conceal your purpose - One solution researchers found appropriate is to debrief subjects following the experiment: interviewing subjects following their participation in the research project to learn about their experience and reactions to their participation. This is important if theres a possibility that they have been damaged by their participation Analysis and reporting - -researchers have obligations to their subjects. This concerns with Analysis of data and the way results are reported - Researchers have an obligation to make such shortcomings known to their readers, even if admitting mistakes and qualification makes them feel foolish - It is important to know that two variables are not related as to know that they are Two Ethical Controversies: issues have not be resolved, 1) Tearoom Trade: homosexual behaviors in public restrooms: Humphreys studied sexual encounters btw men. He pretended to participate as the voyeur, lookout (watchman). This allowed him to make field observations. He got their license plate and searched their names (unethical) this sparked issues: example of invasion of privacy, deceit, lack of content and risk of harm to the research subjects. 2) Observing Human Obedience: obedience in a laboratory setting, Stanley Milgram concerned how willing people were to obey authority even when they were told to engage in wrongful or immoral behaviour, including potential to kill someone. Many experienced stress while doing this, many believed that the research was worthwhile, what was learned about human behaviour was important, others believed the risk to the human subjects crossed the ethical line, Chapter 4 research design and the logic of causation Three purposes of research 1) Exploration: the attempt to develop an initial rough understanding of some phenomena. It involves focus groups or small group discussion. Has three purposes (satisfy the researchers curiosity, to test feasibility of undertaking a more extensive study and to develop methods to be employed in any subsequent study. 2) Description: is the precise reporting/measurement of the characteristics of some population/phenomenon. Describe situations and events. Observes and the describes what was observed. Ex) Canadian census 3) Explanation: is the discovery and reporting of relationships among different aspects of the phenomenon under study. tends to answer WHY than whats so. Ex) gang violence, wanted to reconstruct the process that brought about violent episodes among gangs of different ethnics groups. Logic of Causation: need more info! 1) Causation in idiographic and nomothetic: -models of explanation - Idiographic: aims at a complete understanding of a particular phenomenon, using all relevant causal factors. This is often used in daily life and in social research. - Nomothetic: aims at a general understanding, not necessarily complete of a class of phenomena, using a small number of relevant causal factors. This is probabilistic in its approach to causation. 2) Criteria for nomothetic causality: the point here is that to establish causal connections, something more is required than a mere association of variables. There are three basic criteria for establishing causation in nomothetic analysis 1) Correlation: Variables must be empirically associated or correlated when one occurs or changes, does the other. Ex) exploding gunpowder causes bullets to leave muzzles of a gun. We have to ask ourselves how strong an empirical relationship must be for that relationship to be considered causal. 2) Time Order: the order of the 2 variables must make sense = money -> car not the other way around. Issue: which comes first? 3) Non-spurious: a spurious relationship is a coincidental statistical correlation btw 2 variables that is showed to be caused by some third variable. Example ice cream -> drownings (third variable is either weather or season). The third variable explains the observed association. Inverse relationship (look at notes)
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