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PSYB01H3 (581)
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Chapter 3

Chapter 3 - Ethical Research.docx

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Anna Nagy

Chapter 3: Ethical Research Milgram’s Obedience Experiment - Stanley Milgram, study the phenomenon of obedience to authority figures - Ad: $4.50 to men to participate in a scientific study of memory and learning - Met a scientist and “Mr.Wallace” who was a accomplice and always was the ‘learner’ and the participant was always the ‘teacher’ - Participant sees Mr.Wallace be strapped with electrodes and placed infront of a shock machine [max. 450 volts] - Learning word pairs, each time a mistake was made shock was given: 15V increases - At 120V learner started to scream and want out, if teacher wanted out then were told they could but were given verbal prods stressing to continue and important of exp - 65% of participants continued to deliver shock all the way up to 450V o received lots of publicity and changed beliefs on ability to resist authority Belmont Report - The Belmont Report: Ethical Principles and Guidelines for the Protection of Human Subjects of Research [current ethical guidelines for medical/beh researchers] - 3 basic ethical principles: beneficence, respect for persons (autonomy), justice o assessment of risks/benefits, informed consent, selection of subjects Assessment of Risks and Benefits - Beneficence: the need for research to maximize benefits and minimize possible harmful effects of participants - Risk-benefit analysis: calculating potential risks and benefits that are likely to result - The cost of not conducting an experiment in it is the only ay to collect valuable info can also be considered - Benefits: educational, acquisition of new skill, treatment of problem, material benefits, intangible benefits [satisfaction] Risks in Psychological Research - risk of psychological and stress [milgram] - justified? Long-term consequences? Physical Harm o rare but possible [usually medical procedures: sleep deprivation] o great care must be taken to make them ethically possible o benefits must clearly outweigh the potential risks Stress o more common than physical stress is psychological stress o example: self-esteem test –rigged/recall traumatic events o must ensure all safeguards have been taken to help partic deal with stress  usually debriefing helps address potential problems that may arise Loss of Privacy and Confidentiality o must protect participants privacy, all data should be locked in secure place o confidentiality important in sensitive areas [sexual beh/divorce] o in personal interviews must plan carefully ways to code/store data o when identifying individ is important must data must not be linked to them if see by anyone o Certificate of Confidentiality: when risks associated w/ loss of conf is great o Role-playing is used to gather info about a participants perceptions of a experiment Informed Consent - Autonomy [respect for others]: participants are treated as autonomous; they are capable of making deliberate decisions about whether to participate in research - Informed consent: potential participants in a research projects should be provided with all information that might influence their decision of whether to participate [purpose of study, risk/benefits, rights to refuse/terminate] Informed Consent o contains all info that participant needs to make decision > read and sign o content and format are parts of informed consent form 1. purpose of the research 2. procedures that will be used including time [do not need to disclose exactly what is being studied] 3. risks/benefits 4. any compensations 5. confidentiality 6. assurance of voluntary participation and permission to withdraw 7. contact information for questions o should be written in simple language and not in first person o translated versions is necessary Autonomy Issues o when minors are involved their consent is need [assent] as well as written consent by a parent/guardian o special population need special precautions [minorities/patients in psych] o coercion is a threat to autonomy, anything that limits freedom to consent o sometimes benefits are so great that they become coercive [inmates] Information Issues : Withholding Information and Deception o it is acceptable to withhold information when it will not affect the decision to participate and when info will be provided later, ie. Debriefing o when planning research crucial to have good reasons not to have any informed consent [observing number of males/females] o deception, when there is a active misrepresentation of information  Milgram: deception on: purpose of study/ making participants apart of a series of events staged for the purposes of the study o Milgram’s study conducted before informed consent was routine o Providing informed consent may bias participants responses  Also can bias the sample [some people may refuse to participate] o Not only issue in laboratory research o Example: Humprey’s homosexuality, ‘tearooms’ Is Deception a Major Ethical Problem in Psychological Research? o psychologists believed the amount of deception is exaggerated and rare o many students don’t mind and actually enjoy deceptive studies o mostly in 60/70s deception involved fake cover stories o use of deception is decreasing o 3 reasons deception of Milgram’s magnitude decreased: more interested in cognitive variables rather than emotions, increased awareness of ethical issues, ethics committees not review proposed research more carefully  elaborate deception is used only when there is no alternatives The Importance of Debriefing - debriefing: occurs after the completion of the study. It is an opportunity for the researcher to deal w/ issues of withholding information, deception and potential harmful effects of participating - deception – why?, altered pych/physical states – calmed down, provide all info - explain purpose of research and expected results - debriefing both educational and ethical purpose - Milgram’s: studies found that after debriefing those who participated showed no ill effects after the fact and most were happy they participated Alternatives to Deception Role Playing - Role-playing: a procedure for studying behaviour in which individuals are asked to indicate how they would respond to a given situation rather than being observed in action in the situation - Not considered satisfactory alternative to deception [doesn’t involve deeply enough] - Describing experiment in detail may make hypothesis transparent - People cannot accurate predict their behaviour therefore always the argument that the results would have been diff in real situation Simulation Studies - variation of role-playing that involves the simulation of real world situation - example: driving simulation, jury deliberations [involve high degree of involvement] - Zimbardo prison simulation exper [ethical issues – produced high levels of stress] Honest Experiments - participants agree to have their beh studied and know exactly what the researchers hope to accomplish [spee
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