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RESEARCH ETHICS Research Methods. Research Ethics Marketplace of ideas--no scientific misconduct  Research fraud = falsification of data  Plagiarism.

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Presentation on theme: "RESEARCH ETHICS Research Methods. Research Ethics Marketplace of ideas--no scientific misconduct  Research fraud = falsification of data  Plagiarism."— Presentation transcript:

1 RESEARCH ETHICS Research Methods

2 Research Ethics Marketplace of ideas--no scientific misconduct  Research fraud = falsification of data  Plagiarism = theft of words and ideas Personal and professional ethics regarding research subjects Dilemma – right to conduct research v. rights of individual human subjects

3 Notable Research Designs with Ethical Issues Obedience to Authority, 1974 (1963, 1965), Stanley Milgram  What about studies that inflict emotional distress? Stanford Prison Experiment, 1972 (1971), Philip Zimbardo  What is the limit of voluntary participation? Police brutality, 1971 (1967), Albert Reiss  Is it ethical for a researcher to standby while a ‘subject’ is being abused in a non-experimental setting? Student Unrest on College Campuses, 1969, American Council on Education  What can be asked of a respondent? What implications?

4 The Milgram Experiment The experimenter (V) orders the subject (L) to give what the subject believes are painful electric shocks to another subject (S), who is actually an actor. The subjects believed that for each wrong answer, the learner was receiving actual shocks, but in reality there were no shocks. After the confederate (S) was separated from the subject, the confederate set up a tape recorder integrated with the electro-shock generator, which played pre-recorded sounds for each shock level. [1] [1]

5 The Milgram Experiment in action.

6 Milgram Experiment At this point, many people indicated their desire to stop the experiment and check on the learner. Some test subjects paused at 135 volts and began to question the purpose of the experiment. Most continued after being assured that they would not be held responsible. A few subjects began to laugh nervously or exhibit other signs of extreme stress once they heard the screams of pain coming from the learner. [ [

7 The Milgram Experiment raised questions about the ethics of scientific experimentation because of the extreme emotional stress suffered by the participants. ethics Yet, not every participant experienced the life-changing experience reported by some. By modern standards, participants were not fully debriefed, and exit interviews indicated many participants never fully understood the experiment's nature.

8 Stanford Prison Experiments The Stanford prison experiment was ostensibly a psychological study of human responses to captivity and its behavioral effects on both authorities and inmates in prison. It was conducted in 1971 by a team of researchers led by Philip Zimbardo of Stanford University. Undergraduate volunteers played the roles of both guards and prisoners living in a mock prison in the basement of the Stanford psychology building.

9 Prisoner 417 The experiment quickly grew out of hand. Prisoners suffered — and accepted — sadistic and humiliating treatment from the guards, and, by experiment's end, many showed severe emotional disturbances. After a relatively uneventful first day, a riot broke out on the second day. The guards volunteered to work extra hours and worked together to break the prisoner revolt, attacking the prisoners with fire extinguishers without supervision from the research staff.

10 “Guard” and “Prisoner” encounter after experiment. Because it was a field experiment, it was impossible to keep traditional scientific controls. Zimbardo was not merely a neutral observer, but influenced the direction of the experiment as its "superintendent". Conclusions and observations drawn by the experimenters were largely subjective and anecdotal, and the experiment would be difficult for other researchers to reproduce.

11 The Stanford Experiment Additionally, it was criticized on the basis of ecological validity. Many of the conditions imposed in the experiment were arbitrary and may not have correlated with actual prison conditions, including blindfolding incoming "prisoners", not allowing them to wear underwear, not allowing them to look out of windows and not allowing them to use their names.

12 ACE The ACE study of student unrest grew out of a manifesto published in Science magazine by a group of fellows from the Stanford Center for the Advanced Study of Behavioral Sciences. The manifesto places the study it proposes in the context of opposition to student rebellions:  “It is clear from the increasing number and intensity of demonstrations on campuses in the United States and abroad that we do not understand how best to deal with these crises when they occur and certainly do not have the knowledge to prevent them from occurring in the first place…. In using words like deal with and prevent…there is an implicit assumption that violent or destructive behavior, in itself, is undesirable and self-defeating. We believe this to be true.”

13 ACE The study consists of many surveys, elaborately computerized (in part, it would appear, by a subsidiary of Litton Industries). Among them is an in-depth examination of 22 campuses, including Columbia, North Carolina, American, Northwestern, and the University of California at Irvine. The questionnaire—administered to selected radical and black student leaders as well as to random students, faculty, and administrators—asks potentially incriminating questions about participation in disruption and drug use. It also asks about "outsiders" and their roles in demonstrations, about political attitudes of students and their parents, about professors who have been particularly influential. Researchers were also asked to compile a scenario of the biggest recent protest, including the main actors, photographs, tapes, statements, etc.

14 ACE How reliable is the data collected, considering the subject? What is the responsibility of the scientist towards the subject’s confidentiality? Is objectivity compromised by the ‘goal’ of the study to understand and reduce violent rebellion on campus?

15 Research Ethics -- Standards Informed Consent  Competence, Voluntarism, Information, Comprehension Privacy Protection  Sensitive information, Settings, Dissemination Methods of Protection: Anonymity, Confidentiality Codes of Ethics: APSA, AAPOR, pp Institutional Review Board: research.missouri.edu/cirb research.missouri.edu/cirb

16 APSA 34. The methodology of political science includes procedures which involve human subjects: surveys and interviews, observation of public behavior, experiments, physiological testing, and examination of documents. Possible risk to human subjects is something that political scientists should take into account. Under certain conditions, political scientists are also legally required to assess the risks to human subjects.


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