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Ethical Research

Ethical Issues

❶The British Psychological Society. They must be given a general idea of what the researcher was investigating and why, and their part in the research should be explained.

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Ethical Standards - Researchers Should...


Studies must now undergo an extensive review by an institutional review board US or ethics committee UK before they are implemented. All UK research requires ethical approval by one or more of the following:. Committees review proposals to assess if the potential benefits of the research are justifiable in the light of possible risk of physical or psychological harm.

These committees may request researchers make changes to the study's design or procedure, or in extreme cases deny approval of the study altogether. Some of the more important ethical issues are as follows: Whenever possible investigators should obtain the consent of participants. They also need to know what it is that they are agreeing to. In other words the psychologist should, so far as is practicable explain what is involved in advance and obtain the informed consent of participants.

Before the study begins the researcher must outline to the participants what the research is about, and then ask their consent i. However, it is not always possible to gain informed consent. Where it is impossible for the researcher to ask the actual participants, a similar group of people can be asked how they would feel about taking part.

If they think it would be OK then it can be assumed that the real participants will also find it acceptable. This is known as presumptive consent. After the research is over the participant should be able to discuss the procedure and the findings with the psychologist. They must be given a general idea of what the researcher was investigating and why, and their part in the research should be explained. Participants must be told if they have been deceived and given reasons why.

They must be asked if they have any questions and those questions should be answered honestly and as fully as possible. Debriefing should take place as soon as possible and be as full as possible; experimenters should take reasonable steps to ensure that participants understand debriefing.

Researchers must ensure that those taking part in research will not be caused distress. They must be protected from physical and mental harm. This means you must not embarrass, frighten, offend or harm participants. Normally, the risk of harm must be no greater than in ordinary life, i. Check out our quiz-page with tests about:. Oskar Blakstad Nov 23, Retrieved Sep 14, from Explorable. The text in this article is licensed under the Creative Commons-License Attribution 4.

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Don't have time for it all now? No problem, save it as a course and come back to it later. Share this page on your website: This article is a part of the guide: Select from one of the other courses available: We are going through a time of profound change in our understanding of the ethics of applied social research. From the time immediately after World War II until the early s, there was a gradually developing consensus about the key ethical principles that should underlie the research endeavor.

Two marker events stand out among many others as symbolic of this consensus. The Nuremberg War Crimes Trial following World War II brought to public view the ways German scientists had used captive human subjects as subjects in oftentimes gruesome experiments.

In the s and s, the Tuskegee Syphilis Study involved the withholding of known effective treatment for syphilis from African-American participants who were infected. Events like these forced the reexamination of ethical standards and the gradual development of a consensus that potential human subjects needed to be protected from being used as 'guinea pigs' in scientific research.

By the s, the dynamics of the situation changed. Cancer patients and persons with AIDS fought publicly with the medical research establishment about the long time needed to get approval for and complete research into potential cures for fatal diseases. In many cases, it is the ethical assumptions of the previous thirty years that drive this 'go-slow' mentality. After all, we would rather risk denying treatment for a while until we achieve enough confidence in a treatment, rather than run the risk of harming innocent people as in the Nuremberg and Tuskegee events.

But now, those who were threatened with fatal illness were saying to the research establishment that they wanted to be test subjects, even under experimental conditions of considerable risk.


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We are going through a time of profound change in our understanding of the ethics of applied social research. From the time immediately after World War II until the early s, there was a gradually developing consensus about the key ethical principles that should underlie the research endeavor.

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Ethical Considerations can be specified as one of the most important parts of the research. Dissertations may even be doomed to failure if this part is missing. According to Bryman and Bell ()[1] the following ten points represent the most important principles related to ethical considerations.

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The important ethics in research that scientists must follow. Examples of problematic experiments and preventing unethical research. Ethical and Legal Aspects of Human Subjects Research in Cyberspace. It has become very easy to collect both experimental and survey data using the Internet. It has become very easy to collect both experimental and survey data using the Internet.

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Obviously,ethical issues can be raised throughout all phases of research, notably problem definition,stating research objectives/ hypotheses, literature review, choice of research design,questionnaire design, data collection procedures, data editing and cleaning, choice ofstatistical methods, data analysis, conclusions and recommendations, and. Finally, education in research ethics should be able to help researchers grapple with the ethical dilemmas they are likely to encounter by introducing them to important concepts, tools, principles, and methods that can be useful in resolving these dilemmas.