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Chapter 2

PSYC2030 - Chapter Two.docx

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PSYC 2030
Lisa Fiksenbaum

Chapter Two: Ethics in Psychological Research  Ethical issues must be addresses at all stages of the researche process  ETHICS: a set of “standards governing the conduct of a person or the members of a profession”  First code of ethics 1953  CRITICAL INCIDENTS TECHNIQUE: the committee surveyed the entire membership of the APA, asking them to provide examples of “incidents” of unethical conduct that they knew about firsthand and “to indicate what they perceived as being the ethical issue involved”  Five General Principles of the APA Code of Ethics: o Principle A: Beneficence and Non-Malfeasance:  Establishes the principle that psychologists must constantly weigh the benefits and the costs of the research they conduct and seek to achieved the greatest good in their research o Principle B: Fidelity and Responsibility  Researchers to be constantly aware of their responsibility to society and reminds them always to exemplify the highest standards of professional behaviour in their role as researchers. o Principle C: Integrity  Compels researchers to be scrupulously honest in all aspects of research enterprise o Principle D: Justice  Obligates researchers to treat everyone involved in the research enterprise with fairness and to maintain a level of expertise that reduces the chances of their work showing any form of bias o Principle E: Respect for people’s rights and dignity  Translates into a special need for research psychologist to be vigorous in their efforts to safeguard the welfare and protect the rights of those volunteering as research participants Ethical Guidelines or Research with Humans Judging Benefits and Costs: The IRB  The basic dilemma faced is to weigh the scientific value of the study being planned (a benefit) against the degree of intrusion on those contributing data to the study (a cost).  When planning a research study, the experimenter always faces the conflicting requirements of o (a) Producing meaningful research results that could ultimately increase our knowledge of behaviour and add to the general good o (b) Respecting the rights and welfare of the study’s participants and causing them no harm  INTERNATIONAL REVIEW BOARD (IRB): this group consists of at least five people – usually faculty members from five departments, at least one form the community and a minimum of one nonscientist o Found in virtually all colleges o Researchers seeking approval submit:  Rationale for the study and a description of research procedures  A statement about potential risks to participants  How theses risks will be alleviates and why they can be justified  A copy of the study’s informed consent form  Any copies of materials to be used in the experiment o Exempt from full review: studies in conducted in an educational setting for training purposes – purely naturalistic observation studies of public behaviour, survey research that does not assess sensitive topics and archival research – no risk or at minimal risk o Eligible for expedited review: typical psych lab experiments in basic processes such as memory, attention, or perception, in which participants will not experience uncomfortable levels of stress or have behaviour manipulates in any significant fashion - no risk or at minimal risk o Full formal review – at risk  Controversy o (a) to what extent should IRBs be judging the details of research procedures and designs  i.e objection to non-specialist: passing judgment but not understanding or ethical implications of poorly designed study if not identified o (b) Difficult to IRB approval for “basic” research o (c) Overzealous in their concern about risk, weighing it more heavily than warranted, relative to the scientific value of the study o (d) Overemphasis on biomedical research model to evaluate proposals Informed Consent and Deception in Research INFORMED CONSENT: human participants should be given enough information about the study and purpose and procedures to decide if they wish to volunteer  has many features: o Participants agree to participate after learning the general purpose (not hypotheses) o Basic procedures o Amount of time for the session o Option to receive summary of results at conclusion of the study o They can leave at anytime without penalty o Strict confidentiality o Specific people to contact if there are lingering questions or complaints  2002 revisions – specifically for treatments that's could provide benefits o Inform the participants that its experimental not yet shown to be an effective treatment o Some specific services will be available to control group at the end
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