Ethics refers to the correct rules of conduct necessary when carrying out research. We have a moral responsibility to protect research participants from harm. However important the issue under investigation psychologists need to remember that they have a duty to respect the rights and dignity of research participants.
This means that they must abide by certain moral principles and rules of conduct. In Britain ethical guidelines for research are published by the British Psychological Society and in America by the American Psychological Association. The purpose of these codes of conduct is to protect research participants, the reputation of psychology and psychologists themselves.
Moral issues rarely yield a simple, unambiguous, right or wrong answer. It is therefore often a matter of judgement whether the research is justified or not. For example, it might be that a study causes psychological or physical discomfort to participants, maybe they suffer pain or perhaps even come to serious harm.
On the other hand the investigation could lead to discoveries that benefit the participants themselves or even have the potential to increase the sum of human happiness. Rosenthal and Rosnow also talk about the potential costs of failing to carry out certain research. Who is to weigh up these costs and benefits? Who is to judge whether the ends justify the means? Finally, if you are ever in doubt as to whether research is ethical or not it is worthwhile remembering that if there is a conflict of interest between the participants and the researcher it is the interests of the subjects that should take priority.
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.
Whilst the experiment cannot be replicated or falsified , it still offers unique insights, and will advance human knowledge. Case studies are often used as a pre-cursor to more rigorous methods, and avoid the problem of the experiment environment affecting the behavior of an organism. Observational research methods are useful when ethics are a problem. In an ideal world, experimental research methods would be used for every type of research, fulfilling all of the requirements of falsifiability and generalization.
However, ethics , time and budget are major factors, so any experimental design must make compromises. As long as a researcher recognizes and evaluates flaws in the design when choosing from different research methods, any of the scientific research methods are valid contributors to scientific knowledge. Check out our quiz-page with tests about:. Martyn Shuttleworth Jun 19, Retrieved Sep 13, from Explorable. The text in this article is licensed under the Creative Commons-License Attribution 4.
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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.
Research Methods and Ethics - Chapter Summary and Learning Objectives. In any branch of psychology, research is essential to expanding knowledge and making new discoveries.
Observational research methods are useful when ethics are a problem.. Conclusion. In an ideal world, experimental research methods would be used for every type of research, fulfilling all of the requirements of falsifiability and generalization. Research Methods › Research Ethics. Psychology Research Ethics. Saul McLeod, published , updated Ethics refers to the correct rules of conduct necessary when carrying out research. We have a moral responsibility to protect research participants from rtxy.tk: Saul Mcleod.
Ethics in Sociological Research By establishing ethical codes, professional organizations maintain the integrity of the profession, define the expected conduct of . Research Ethics Prashant V. Kamat On Being a Scientist: Third Edition Committee on Science, Engineering, and Public Policy, “Ethical problems in academic research, Most of the plagiarism found at Ohio occurred in introductory chapters describing research methods and reviewing the previous literature in the field, for which there is.