Ethical issues in psychological research (Privacy- A person's right to…
Ethical issues in psychological research
Privacy- A person's right to control the flow of information about themselves.
Researcher- It's hard to avoid invasion of privacy when studying ppts without their awareness (in field experiments).
ppts- People don't expect to be observed in certain situations such as at home. However it's likely to be expected to be observed in a public place such as in a park.
Dealing with issues of privacy- Don't study people who haven't given valid consent, unless in a public place.
Disadvantages- There's no universal agreement about what constitutes a public place.
Confidentiality- concerns the communications of the ppt information from one person to another and the trust that the information will be protected .
Researcher- It can be difficult to protect confidentiality because ultimately the research wants to be published. The researcher can assure anonymity .
ppts- The Data Protection Act ensures confidentiality as a legal right.
Dealing with confidentiality- Researchers shouldn't use names of the ppts but instead use numbers or pseudo manes.
Disadvantages- It's sometime possible to work out who was in a study using the information that has been provided.
Risk of harm- During a research study ppts should not experience negative, physical psychological effects.They shouldn't experience anything they wouldn't in real life.
Researcher- Studying the important questions often leads to harm as it's hard to predict the outcome for certain, which is hard to predict the amount of harm.
ppts- Nothing should happen to them in the study that wouldn't happen in their normal life and they shouldn't be harmed physically or mentally. It's only acceptable if they're in the same state when they leave.
Dealing with risk of harm- Avoid any risks greater than they would usually experience in day to day life.
Disadvantages- Harm might not be apparent at the time of the study- only using hindsight.
Deception- A ppt isn't told the true aims of the study and therefore cannot gain valid consent.
Researcher- Sometimes it's necessary to deceive the ppts about the aims, as they may show demand characteristics. However, there's a difference between withholding details and giving false information.
ppts- Deception is unethical and deception prevents the ppts from giving valid consent. This can lead to psychologists looking untrustworthy so people may be less likely to take part in future research.
Dealing with deception issues- The use of deception has to be approved by the ethics committee to weigh up the benefits. The ppts need to be debriefed after the study to return them to the state they were in when they entered the study.
Disadvantages- Cost benefits are flawed because the opinion is subjective. Debriefing doesn't turn back time and the ppts may still feel embarrassed or anxious.
Valid consent- ppts must be given comprehensive information concerning the nature and purpose of the research and their role in it, so they can make an informed decision as to whether they take part.
Researcher- If you ask for consent you have to reveal the aims of the the study and this can lead to demand characteristics in the ppts.
ppts- They should know what they are taking part in which means they can make an informed decision as to whether they take part. It is never possible to know if the ppts truly understand the study, eva if they have given valid consent.
Dealing with valid consent issues- The ppts are formally asked to indicate their agreement by signing an agreement with comprehensive details of the study.
Disadvantages- If the ppts are given full knowledge they can invalidate the study.