• Ethics: a consideration of what is acceptable or right behaviour in the pursuit of a personal or scientific goal
• Ethical guidelines: Protection from harm, no deception, informed consent, debriefing, right to withdraw, privacy and confidentiality
• Ethical implications: The impact psychological research may have in terms of the rights of other people especially participants
• Socially sensitive research: studies in which there are potential social consequences or implications, either directly for the Ps or the group of individuals represented by the research
Sieber and Stanley released a research paper identifying 4 points in the research process which may cause ethical implications that are socially sensitive: the research question must be appropriate, conduct of research and treatment of Ps (are Ps kept confidential at all time), the institutional context (should private organisations be allowed to fund research) & Interpretation and application of findings.
Research attempts to be generalizable and for that reason often leaves out marginalised groups from research samples or misrepresents them when they are included.
Despite the ethical implications, Sandra Scarr (1998) argues that studies of underrepresented groups and issues may promote a greater sensitivity and understanding of these groups. She argues this will help to increase acceptance and reduce prejudice. --> may benefit social sensitive research.
Research currently aims to protect the needs of the individuals, however it only considers the immediate needs of the participants and doesn’t consider all the possible ways the research may inflict harm on a wider group of people or section of society.