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Psychology (9,695)
PSYB01H3 (581)
Chapter 3

PSYB01_Chapter 3

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David Nussbaum

Chapter 3-Ethical Research The Belmont Report  The three basic ethical principles are beneficence, autonomy, and justice  These translate into applications: assessment of risks and benefits, informed consent, and selection of subjects Assessment of Risks and Benefits  Beneficence is the need to maximize benefits and minimize risks  Calculating risks and benefits is called risk-benefit analysis Risks in Psychological Research PHYSICAL HARM  These risks require great care be taken  The benefits would clearly need to outweigh the risks in such cases STRESS  If there is psychological harm then safeguards must be taken to help participants deal with stress as well as a debriefing that addresses any lingering problems LOSS OF PRIVACY AND CONFIDENTIALITY  Confidentiality becomes important when the topics of study are sensitive  Usually the responses are completely anonymous but sometimes there is a need to identify the individual (when they are studied over a period of time or are given feedback) o In such cases the researcher must separate the data from the person’s identity  Another concern with privacy is the observation of behaviour o Urinal example Informed Consent  In the Belmont Report, autonomy is that participants are capable of making decisions about participating in the research  The application of autonomy is informed consent—participants are provided with all the info that can influence their decision to participate Informed Consent Form  Should be written in a simple straightforward form (8 grade reading level)  Should be written in second person (as in talking to you) Autonomy Issues  When the individual lacks autonomy, the guardian is given the written consent form, and there is also an agreement from the individual known as an assent  Coercion is also a threat to autonomy o Example—must participate in the experiment to pass the course Information Issues: Withholding Information and Deception  It is generally acceptable to deceive or withhold info when the information will not affect the decision to participate  Many research procedures that do not require informed consent  Providing informed consent may bias participant’s response  Providing informed consent may bias the sample o Generate only a specific “type” of people in the sample Is Deception a Major Ethical Problem in Psychological Research  Deception mostly used in social psychology  There are three reasons for the decrease in deception: o More emphasis on cognitive psychology rather than emotions o Awareness of ethical issues o Ethics committees that review proposed research  Elaborate deception only approved when the research is meaningful with no alternatives The Importance of Debriefing  Debriefing occurs after the completion of the study and is an opportunity to deal with issues such as withholding information, risks, etc.  If the participants were deceived, they are told why they were deceived  If the research caused physical or psychological harm, the participant is made comfortable and is calmed down  Researcher also explains the purpose of the study and practical implications Alternatives To Deception Role-Playing  In role-playing the researcher describes a situation to the participant and asks them how they would respond  This method does not involve the participants deeply, and they may try to behave in ways consistent with the hypothesis  The most serious defect is that people cannot accurately predict their behaviour Simulation Studies  A simulation of a real world situation, creates high personal involvement but can have dangerous effects o Example—prison experiment with Stanford university Honest Experiments  The first strategy is which participants are told the purposes of the research  A second strategy is used in situations where programs try to change people’s behaviour o Example—quit smoking  Another method is experimental manipulation in a natural setting  Yet another method is when naturally occurring events present an opportunity for research Justice and the Selection of Participants  Justice is fairness in
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