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Chapter 2

PSYCH 101 Chapter 2: An Introduction to Psychological Science > Module 2.3 (ONLINE Week 1): Ethics in Psychological Research (Krause, Corts, Smith, Dolderman)


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Paul Wehr

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Module 2.3: Ethics in Psychological Research
Week 1 Readings
Learning Objectives:
-understand the importance of reporting and storing data
-understand why animals are often used in scientific research
-analyze the method of using deception in psychological research
Ethics in Psychological Research
-ethical issues focus on protecting the physical and mental well-being of participants,
obtaining consent from them, and ensuring that their responses remain confidential
Promoting the Welfare of Research Participants
-all institutions that engage in research with humans are required to have a REB
research ethics board (REB): committee of researchers and officials at an institution
charged with the protection of human research participants
-REB’s protect individuals in two ways:
1. committee weighs the potential risks to the volunteers against the possible
benefit of the research
2. requires that volunteers agree to participate in the research (informed consent)
Weighing the Risks and the Benefits of Research
-some research is slightly riskier either mentally or physically
-benefits must be weighed against the short-term risk to participants
-examples of measures that involve possible cognitive and emotional stress:
mortality salience: participants are made more aware of death
writing about upsetting or traumatic experiences
-REB serves as a third party that weighs the risks and benefits of research without
being personally invested in the outcome
-mandatory that patients be informed of any risks they may be exposed to and must
willingly volunteer to participate in the study
Obtaining Informed Consent
-researchers must ensure volunteers are participating voluntarily
-participants must provide informed consent
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