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Chapter 3

Review and Discussion Questions - Chapter 3.docx


Department
Psychology
Course Code
PSYC 2360
Professor
Naseem Al- Aidroos
Chapter
3

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Review and Discussion Questions Chapter 3
1. The main difference in ethical problems that arise in behavioural
research compared to other areas of science is that we often use human
subjects and expose the possibility of psychological harm more so than
physical harm. Some experiments can uncover elements of an
individual’s personality, for example, that isn’t exactly pleasant or a
trait someone would like to think they have. This, of course, could lead
to some devastating effects on the individual and it is the researcher’s
responsibility to ensure that the participant leaves the lab feeling just
as good, if not better than when they came. For the personality traits
example, the researcher could explain that it is normal to have these
unsettling feelings and that they could linger for a little bit and that
too is quite common. Often, just the action of telling the individual that
these things happen is enough to calm them down in the debriefing
process.
2. Deception is the act of withholding some information from the
participant when they give informed consent and should only be used if
it is absolutely necessary. Deception should then be explained at the
earliest point possible and the participant must agree and sign to
another consent form stating that they agree and understand the
terms of deception and that their data can be used for the experiment.
Personally, I agree with the ethic board’s guidelines for deception. I
believe that when we have human subjects and we are trying to
conclude information about human behaviour especially, we need an
element of reality in the lab to truly generalize what happens in the
world outside of the lab. Obviously, any form harm to the participant
should not be allowed and that is where I too, draw the line with
deception.
3. The first principle of ethical research is protecting the participants
from physical or psychological harm. Researchers do this by informed
consent (prior to the experiment, outlining procedure and duration,
potential benefits to society, the right to withdrawal at any time in the
experiment, confidentiality, who to contact if they have any questions),
deception and debriefing (at the end of the experiment where any
deception is revealed, the participant is told goals of experiment, and
ensuring that they leave the lab just as good if not better than the way
they came thus undoing any negative side effects). The second
principle of ethical research is providing freedom of choice about
participating in the research. This is outlined in informed consent and
is often more problematic in naturalistic observational studies where
often the participants do not know they are being studied. The third
principle of ethical research is maintaining awareness of power
differentials between researcher and participant. Not being aware of
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