Chapter 3 Textbook Notes

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31 Mar 2011
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Chapter 3: Ethical Research
MILGRAMS OBEDIENCE EXPERIMENT
Milgram experiment studied obedience to authority
Participants were teachers who gave fake shocks to learner
65% of participants delivered full shock
THE BELMONT REPORT
Today’s ethical guidelines based on The Belmont Report: Ethical Principles and
Guidelines for the Protection of Human Subjects of Research
3 basic ethical principles: beneficence, respect for persons (autonomy) and justice
In application:
oAssessment of risks and benefits
oInformed consent
oSelection of subjections
ASSESMENT OF RISKS AND BENEFITS
Beneficence: max benefits and minimize risk
oEvaluate w/ benefit analysis
Benefits could be direct (like learning new skill, treatment), material (money, gift) or
intangible (satisfaction, potential to apply findings)
Risks in Psychological Research
Physical Harm
Procedures that can cause harm, mostly medical
oE.g. giving drug like alcohol
Clear benefits have to be > risks
Stress
Fear or anxiety, psychological stress
Participants are debriefed after to prevent problems
Loss of Privacy and Confidentiality
Data should be secured
For personal questions about life, should keep confidential
oE.g. sexual behaviour
Should make data hard to trace back to people
Can use pilot studies and discuss ethical concerns with potential participants
oCan also use role playing to see if people object
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INFORMED CONSENT
Autonomy: free will
oParticipants treated as autonomous, can leave exp when they want
Informed consent: all info that could affect participation
oRisk, purpose, benefits
Informed Consent Form
Contains info participant needs to make decision
Content of consent form:
1.Purpose
2.Procedures and duration (dont have to tell what is being studied)
3.Risks and benefits
4.Compensation
5.Confidentiality
6.Assurance of voluntary participation and permission to leave
7.Contact info for questions
Should be understandable, avoid I and use right translation
Autonomy Issues
Assent agreement by minor to participate, also requires parent permission
Have to be careful of coercion,
oCant force or make people suffer consequences for not participating
Information Issues: Withholding Information and Deception
Providing too much info can make invalid results
Dont give hypothesis or special conditions of exp
Thoroughly debrief when deception is used
Informed consent can bias results
oE.g. stress exp, we get less stressed
oCan also bias sample , people who agree are same type
Deception is active misrepresentation of info
Have good reasons not to give informed consent
oE.g. impossible
Is Deception a Major Ethical Problem in Psychological Research?
Cover stories still frequently used, but deception is decreasing in social psych (where
its mostly used)
Reasons for less deception:
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