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Scientific Benefit vs. Ethical Cost This controversy is all about finding a balance between making scientific progress and protecting people and animals.

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Presentation on theme: "Scientific Benefit vs. Ethical Cost This controversy is all about finding a balance between making scientific progress and protecting people and animals."— Presentation transcript:

1 Scientific Benefit vs. Ethical Cost This controversy is all about finding a balance between making scientific progress and protecting people and animals from harm. 9gwhS6Yk

2 Lesson 1 Objectives To be able to define ‘scientific benefit’ and ‘ethical cost’ To consider why ethical dilemmas arise in Psychology To describe the scientific benefits and ethical costs of lab experiments involving deception.

3 Definitions Use your handout and the textbook to produce your own definitions with examples Scientific benefit Ethical Costs Read out your definitions to a partner and decide on any improvements

4 Psychology and ethics CQ – Is research justified when you measure scientific benefits against ethical costs? Gross (2003) particular ethical issues are raised in psychological research because humans and animals have feelings and can experience pain, fear and so on. The double obligation dilemma What is it? Why does it pose a problem?

5 Lab experiments, Deception and Informed Consent The key ethical questions here are “Can failure to inform the participant of the true purpose of the experiment ever be justified?” and “Can the end justify the means?” What are the scientific benefits of deception in psychological research? Look at page for ideas. Give examples of studies that could not have produced valid results without deception.

6 ACB Asch 1955

7 Loftus and Palmer 1974

8 Ethical Costs What were the ethical costs of these examples? What did Milgram say about what Pps thought after his study on obedience? Refer to handout Did the end justify the means?

9 Dealing with deception What can be done to overcome deception issues? Use your handout to discuss and write down the problems with using these :- Debriefing Presumptive Consent Stopping the study if things go wrong

10 Quick recap Do you have good definitions of scientific benefit and ethical costs? Can you suggest reasons why ethical issues occur in Psychology? What are the scientific benefits of deception in research? Give some examples. What are the ethical costs of deception? Give examples.

11 Lesson 2 To consider the scientific benefits and ethical costs of using other research methods besides Lab experiments. To understand how cost-benefit analyses are used by ethics committees.

12 Alternatives to Lab Experiments Lab experiments are seen as the most scientific as they establish causal relationships. However they lack ecological validity. What does this suggest about the scientific benefit? So what benefits are there of other methods of research? What ethical issues do they raise?

13 Rosenhan (1973)

14 Complete handout on these methods. Observations (see middlemist) Field Experiments (Rosenhan, Langer and Rodin) Case Studies (HM) Animal studies (Blakemore and Cooper) Gray argues animal suffering is justified if it alleviates human suffering. (Speciesism)

15 Cost-benefit approach Aronson (1992) suggests that one way of dealing with ethical issues is to use a cost- benefit analysis, weighing up how much good will derive from the research against any potential harm or distress to the participant. Key questions are: Can we derive the scientific benefit before the study? Can we predict the ethical costs?

16 Ethical committees and cost benefit approach Read about Laud Humphreys’ tearoom trade study and conduct a cost benefit analysis Discuss as many scientific benefits as you can with a partner. Use the table worksheet Now discuss the ethical costs As an ethics committee would you have approved this research?

17 Lesson 3 Objectives To identify the scientific benefits and ethical costs of some famous studies in Psychology To consider the advantages and disadvantages of using cost-benefit analyses.

18 When is harm justified? Review your handout and the textbook for information about Milgram’s study. What was the scientific benefit? Was it predicted? Could the harm caused be anticipated? What does this suggest about ethical committees? What about the benefit and costs of Zimbardo’s prison study? How was this improved by BBC’s ‘The Experiment’

19 Cost-benefit approach - Ethics Debate Scenario based on Piliavin et al Good Samaritan study on bystander apathy. Mad scientists – Your task is to persuade the ethics committee to approve a bystander apathy study in which a person will pretend to be shot by a sniper in the centre of London so that researchers can observe their helping behaviour. There will be fake blood and a gun shot. Touchy feely complainers – Your task to complain on behalf of the innocent bystanders in the street and recommend revisions to the study. Sensible ethics committee – Your task is to find a balance between scientific benefits and ethical costs and approve a version of the study you are happy with

20 Evaluation What does Baumrind (1975) (pg71) argue about the use of a cost-benefit analysis? Does the scientific benefit gained from research directly benefit its participants? Do participants benefit in any way? What is the true scientific benefit of conducting artificial experiments? What are the scientific benefits of conducting research using other methods?

21 What is meant by scientific benefits?(3) Critically consider the balance of scientific benefits measured against ethical costs in Psychology (22) Assessment Objectives Remember that controversy questions are different. AO3 Marks are gained for showing your understanding of the scientific method by making relevant arguments and using evidence. AO2 Marks are gained for counter-argument and analysis of points (highlighting what they suggest/mean)

22 Outline Plan – over to you! Intro – Explain the controversy –finding a balance. Outline why ethical issues occur in Psychology and give example. AO3 Outline the scientific benefits of lab experiments using deception e.g valid results (Milgram). AO3 What are the ethical costs and problems with ways of dealing with them e.g debriefing – does it help? AO2 Do lab experiments produce valid results? (ecological validity) Are there ways that deception can be dealt with (debriefing)? Do these help? AO3 Outline the scientific benefits of other methods of research e.g Observation (Tearoom Trade), case studies (HM) as opposed to lab experiments. (better ecological validity but lower reliability) AO3 What are the ethical costs of these e.g privacy, consent for HM AO2 How can these studies be generalised? What’s the benefit? AO3 Explain the use of cost-benefit analyses/ ethical committees BPS, AO2 Is it possible to predict benefits or costs? Use Zimbardo/BBC as example. Conc: How do we strike a balance? Is our duty to participants or the general public? What benefit is there to the actual pps? Is the balance between science and ethics in psychology about right or too in favour of one side?


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