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Chapter 3

Chapter 3-Ethics in Behavioural Research.docx

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David Nussbaum

Chapter 3: Ethics in Behavioural Research Milgram: Obedience Experiment  also surveyed Yale undergrads whose mean maximum shock level was 9.35. Actual average of shock administered by participants was 24.53.  Basis for research ethics Code of Conduct, American Psychological Association – 83 standards adopted in 2002 to guide psychologists clinical and research practices. Historical Background Nuremberg War Crime Trials – 1946 exposed horrific medical experiment conducted by Nazi doctors and others in the name of “science” Tuskegee Syphilis Study – 1970s Americans learnt they funded researchers who collected data from 399 African-American men to learn about the natural cause of the illness; participants were not informed of their illness and were denied treatment until 1972 even though a cure, Penicillin was developed in 1950. Belmont Report – created by National Commission for the Protection of Human Subjects of Biomedical and Behavioural Research; it has 3 ethical principals for the protection of human subjects: 1. Respects For Persons – treating persons as autonomous agents and protecting those with diminished autonomy 2. Beneficence – minimizing harm, maximizing benefit 3. Justice – distributing benefits and risks of research fairly Federal Policy for Protection of Human Subjects – specific regulations based on the Belmont Report principles that were adopted in 1991 by the Department of Health and Human Services and the Food and Drug Administration Institutional Review Board (IRB) – federal regulations require that every institution that seeks federal funding for biomedical research on human subjects have this board to review research proposals Office For Protection from Research Risks – monitors IRBs with the exception of drug research Ethical Principles APA’s Ethics Code  151 ethical standards  15 directly related to research and publication  APA Ethics Committee investigated violations  5 General Principles; consistent with Belmont Report’s 3 principles A. Beneficence and Nonmaleficence – has to be positive outcome for doing research (knowledge gained) and no or minimal harm done to participants B. Fidelity and Responsibility – establish relations of trust with those whom they work, aware of responsibilities for their behaviour and manage conflicts that could lead to exploitation or harm. C. Integrity – promote accuracy, honesty, and truthfulness in science, teaching, and practice of psychology; do not steal, cheat, or engage in fraud, subterfuge or intentional misrepresentation of fact. D. Justice – fairness and justice entitle all persons to access to and benefit from the contributions of psychology and to equal quality; exercise reasonable judgment and take precautions to ensure that their potential biases, boundaries of competence, and limitations of expertise do not lead or condone unjust practices E. Respect For People’s Rights and Dignity – respect the dignity and worth of all people and their rights to individual privacy, confidentiality and self-determination. They must eliminate the effect on their work of biases. 4 Central Ethical Research Principles:  Achieving Valid Results (Principle B Fidelity and Responsibility) – pursuit of objective knowledge must be the goal; cannot justify resources required for study unless something is learned about human behaviour. o Milgram: objectively studied obedience and suggestibility but he was criticized for generalizability because the research lab doesn't apply to conditions in the real world, but it was replicated in many settings with much evidence.  Eg. Nazi soldiers in Germany, and how their actions were carried out  Maintain Professional Integrity (Principle C Integrity) – method of study must be detailed in order to assess validity; publication plays vital role in maintaining honesty and openness o Dispute about who discovered the AIDS virus  Protect Research Subjects (Principle A Beneficence and Nonmaleficence) – o Avoid Harming Research Participants  Milgram: Potential harm to participants because it alters self-image or ability to trust adult authorities in the future shown in most deceptive experiments, but evidence suggested that it did not psychologically affect them.
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