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Chapter 3

PSYC 2030 Chapter Notes - Chapter 3: American Psychological Association, Sperm Bank, Informed Consent

Course Code
PSYC 2030
Ronald Sheese

of 7
Chapter Three
Ethical Issues in Psychological Research
Researcher conduct research to benefit citizens
The benefits have to outweigh the risks
Researcher in Canada have to meet certain basic requirements before a study can
participate in a study
Statute – law passed by a national or provincial legislation (at the top)
Regulation – description of how laws are to be incorporated into the daily
activities of researchers and clinicians
Ethical Standard – principal that sets a minimal level of acceptable practice in a
specific area
oEnforced by the organization that created them
Code of Ethics – aspirational set of broad principals and values
At the bottom are simple guidelines that provide the researcher with basic
education about relevant issues
Canadian Code of Ethics for Psychology
Individuals doing research in Canada are most likely apart of the CPA
The code has 4 key points:
1. Respect for the Dignity of Person
2. Responsible Caring
3. Integrity in Relationships
4. Responsibility to Society
Each principal has a certain number of standards
Principals are arranged in hierarchy
Principal I;
Respect for
Dignity of
-The belief that each person should be treated primarily as a
-Each person has a right to their right as human beings
-The worth is dependent on culture, nationality, ethnicity, colour,
race, religion, sex, gender, martial status, sexual orientation,
physical or mental abilities, age socio-economic statues or any
other condition
-Do not unfairly exclude groups, ensure of inform consent, avoid
coercion to get consent, confidentiality, privacy, the duty to warn
anyone of possible dangers
Principal II:
-Psychologist must take note of potential harm and benefits
involved to predict the likelihood of occurrence
-The benefits outweigh the harm
-Self – reflective, appropriately weighting risks, debriefing, no
sexual relationships, doing proper research, stopping the study if
it does more harm than good, stopping actions carried out
psychologist when needed, min. reliance on animals
Principal III: -Contains both impact and explicit expectations of integrity
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Integrity in
-E.g. accuracy and honestly, straightforwardness and openness, the
maximization of objectivity and minimization of bias and
-Science is free value and impartial, however scientists are not
-Personal values and self – interest can affect the questions being
-Ensuring that colleagues research results isn’t misrepresented by
others, taking credit for ones own work and giving credit
(students), avoid bias, being straightforward with information,
disclosing conflicts of interests, debriefing
Principal IV:
y of Society
-We as human have responsibilities to the societies we work and
live in
-2 expectations:
1. It will increase the knowledge
2. It will be conducted in a way that promotes the welfare of
all human beings
-Participating in activities that contribute the scientific growth,
bringing unethical behaviours to attention, respecting the culture
within the research, being sensitive to the needs and issues in a
certain society, exercising care when reporting results, not
engaging in research that violates international boundaries and
known how to salve problems in the most ethical way
Making Ethical Decisions
Codes of Ethics for Psychologists:
1. Identification of the individuals and the groups affected by the decision
2. Identification of ethically relevant issues and practices including interests,
rights and any relevant characteristics of the individuals and groups
3. Consideration of how personal biases, stresses or self interests might
influence the development of or choice between of action
4. Development of alt. course of action
5. Analyses short – term, ongoing and long term risks and benefits of each
course of action on the individual/group involved or likely to be affect e.g.
client, clients family/ employees, employing instituting, students, research
participants, colleagues, the discipline, society, self
6. Choice of course of action
7. Action – commitment to the consequences of the action
8. Evaluation of results from the action
9. Assumption of responsibility for consequences of action e.g. negative
10. Appropriate action  prevent future occurrences of the dilemma
Tri – Council Policy Statement: Ethical Conduct for Research Involving Humans
Contains the three federal agencies CIHR, NSERC, SSHRC
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Respect for Persons
Researchers have an obligation to respect the autonomy of participates and to
protect the vulnerable populations whose autonomy may just being developing
Participants decisions are influenced by variety of factors e.g. culture, community
and spirituality
Some people fear failure; with may contradict their responses e.g. not wanting to
disappoint health care providers fear of not getting health care
Not understanding the research
Also age, cognitive impairment, mental health issues or illness
Concern for Welfare
The impact on the individuals of factors e.g. physical, mental, spiritual health
Balancing the potential risks and benefits
Outcome of research could lead to discrimination stigma or marginalization
Relevant groups should be included to reduce this
Treat people fairly and equality
The Role of the Research Ethics Board
REB’s job is to scrutinize projects to determine their risks
Researchers are responsible for being aware and complying with legal regulatory
Protection of privacy, intellectual property and capacity
American Psychological Association Ethical Guidelines
The APA has guidelines in the ethical issues involved in psychological research
1. Resolving Ethical Issues
2. Competence
3. Human Relations
4. Privacy and Confidentiality
5. Adverting and Other Public Statements
6. Record Keeping Fees
7. Education and Training
8. Research and Publication
9. Assessment
10. Therapy
These standards are enforceable
The general public can bring complaints to the ethics committee
Publication and Access to Data
What Gets Published
Psychologists can not claim an effect has been made without raw data or
information of the procedure
They shouldn’t rush for a publication
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