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Chapter 3

PSY309 - Chapter 3 notes

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Department
Psychology
Course
PSY309H1
Professor
John Kloppenbord
Semester
Fall

Description
Chapter 3: Ethical Research M ILGRAM’SO BEDIENCEE XPERIMENT BELMONT REPORT - defined the principles and applications that have guided more detailed regulations and the APA Ethics Code - three basic ethical principles: beneficence, autonomy, justice - the associated applications of these principles: assessment of risks and benefits, informed consent, selection of subjects ASSESSMENT OF RISKS ANDBENEFITS - Beneficence – the need for research to maximize benefits and minimize any possible harmful effects of participation - in most decisions we make in life, we consider the relative risks/costs and benefits - in decisions about the ethics of research, we must calculate potential risks and benefits that are likely to result – Risk-Benefit Analysis - potential risks to the participants include: psychological/physical harm, loss of confidentiality - potential benefits may include: direct benefits (ie. educational benefit, a new skill) or material benefits (ie. money, gift, prize) - R ISKS IPSYCHOLOGICAL RESEARCH o Physical Harm  procedures that could cause physical harm to participants are rare but possible  some medical procedures fall into this category (ie. administering drugs such as alcohol/caffeine) o Stress  more common than physical stress  when stress is possible, all safeguards must be taken to help participants cope with stress  there is usually a debriefing session following the study to address any potential problems o Loss of Privacy and Confidentiality  researchers must take care to protect the privacy of individuals  Confidentiality becomes particularly important when studying topics such as sexual behaviour, divorce, family violence  in these cases responses must be completely anonymous – there should be no way to connect person’s identity to data  researcher must carefully plan ways of coding data, storing data and explaining the procedures to participants  in some cases risks with loss of confidentiality is so great researchers must apply for a Certificate of Confidentiality (U.S.)  another privacy issue concerns concealed observation of behaviour INFORMED C ONSENT - Autonomy (respect for persons) o The Belmont Report states that 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 project should be provided with all info that might influence their decision of whether to participate o therefore, research participants should be informed about the purposes of the study, the risks and benefits of participation, and their rights to refuse/ terminate participation in the study - INFORMED CONSENT FORM o contains the info that participants need to make their decision - A UTONOMY ISSUES o 1 concern - lack of autonomy (occurs when participant doesn’t have the ability to make a decision to voluntarily participate) o when minors are asked to participate, a written consent form signed by a parent/guardian is required in addition to agreement by the minor and this is called assent o 2ndconcern – coercion (is any procedure that limits an individual’s freedom to consent)  ie. a prof requiring students in a class to participate in a study in order to pass the course is applying considerable pressure on potential participants - INFORMATION ISSUE:W ITHHOLDINGINFORMATION AND DECEPTION o it’s generally acceptable to withhold info when the info would not affect the decision to participate and when the info will later be provided (usually in a debriefing session when the study is completed) o deception occurs when there is active misrepresentation of information o [Keman, Ortmann & Hertwig] believe that any type of deception is morally unacceptable; it is wrong to mislead ppl. in any way o the use of deception is believed to harm the reputation of the field - ISD ECEPTION M AJOR ETHICALPROBLEM INPSYCHOLOGICALRESEARCH? o there are three reasons why the use of deception has decreased (as seen in the Milgram study)  more researchers have become interested in cognitive variables rather than emotions  general level of awareness of ethical issues has led researchers to conduct studies in other ways  ethics committees at uni’s and colleges now review proposed research more carefully THE MPORTANCE OF D EBRIEFING - Debriefing – explanation given to participants at the end of their participation regarding the purposes of the research an
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