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Psychology Research Ethics

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❶The 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. By the s, the dynamics of the situation changed.

Ethical Standards - Researchers Should...

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Add to my courses. Take it with you wherever you go. The Research Council of Norway. 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.

You had several very vocal and articulate patient groups who wanted to be experimented on coming up against an ethical review system that was designed to protect them from being experimented on. Although the last few years in the ethics of research have been tumultuous ones, it is beginning to appear that a new consensus is evolving that involves the stakeholder groups most affected by a problem participating more actively in the formulation of guidelines for research.

While it's not entirely clear, at present, what the new consensus will be, it is almost certain that it will not fall at either extreme: There are a number of key phrases that describe the system of ethical protections that the contemporary social and medical research establishment have created to try to protect better the rights of their research participants.

The principle of voluntary participation requires that people not be coerced into participating in research. This is especially relevant where researchers had previously relied on 'captive audiences' for their subjects -- prisons, universities, and places like that.

Closely related to the notion of voluntary participation is the requirement of informed consent. Essentially, this means that prospective research participants must be fully informed about the procedures and risks involved in research and must give their consent to participate.

Ethical standards also require that researchers not put participants in a situation where they might be at risk of harm as a result of their participation. Harm can be defined as both physical and psychological. There are two standards that are applied in order to help protect the privacy of research participants.


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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.