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BHS 204-01 Methods in Behavioral Sciences I May 28, 2003 Chapter 14 (Ray) Ethics.

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Presentation on theme: "BHS 204-01 Methods in Behavioral Sciences I May 28, 2003 Chapter 14 (Ray) Ethics."— Presentation transcript:

1 BHS Methods in Behavioral Sciences I May 28, 2003 Chapter 14 (Ray) Ethics

2 Responsibilities of the Researcher  The world relies on the accuracy of findings. Fraud is unethical, obviously, but so are lesser sins that distort findings or mislead the public.  Ethical problems are minimal in real life, despite a few highly publicized cases.  Ethics are regulated by the U.S. government and by professional associations (APA).  There are guidelines but no firm rules.

3 Seven Requirements  Social value  Scientific validity  Fair subject selection  Favorable risk-benefit ratio  Independent review  Informed consent  Respect for human subjects

4 When Ethical Questions Arise  When experiments are unpleasant or have risks or negative consequences for subjects.  When subjects cannot make informed consent, as with children, animals, prisoners, mentally ill or impaired individuals.  When deception is involved.

5 Guiding Principles  The subject should leave the experiment as close as possible to the state he or she was in before entering it. Do you tell a subject about something discovered during the experiment (e.g., heart problem)? The subject’s opinion of himself matters.  The risk to a subject is weighed against the value of the findings to society. Studies with risks must be on important topics.

6 Sample Ethical Controversies  Should subjects be paid for their participation? When is payment coercive? How much payment, of what type, is OK?  Should students be required to be research subjects in psychology courses?  How should privacy be protected – who should have access to what kinds of data?

7 Experimental Protections  Subjects must be volunteers.  Someone cannot truly volunteer without making “informed consent.” How much information can you provide without biasing subjects and undermining your results?  Subjects have the right to stop at any time. They must be informed of this right.  Subjects must be fully informed of all risks.

8 Anticipating Risks  Memory studies or other unpleasant experiences during a study may interact with prior trauma. Subjects must be guided to counseling if this occurs. Follow-up phone calls may be needed. Screening of subjects may be important.  Blood draws, physiological measurements, strenuous exercise may affect health, religion.

9 Protecting Confidentiality  A study is not a “fishing expedition.” Do not ask anything beyond what is needed to address the research question.  Subject privacy must be protected. Remove identifying information. Store data away from casual access. Obtain permission for all intended uses. Ask ahead of time if the subject wishes to be told results, especially about health outcomes.

10 Ethical Guidelines of the APA  Responsibility to be competent – don’t do research without appropriate training. Consultants can be approached to remedy deficits.  Researchers must obtain approval from their sponsoring institution before doing a study.  Subjects must be informed of anticipated sharing of data.  Invasiveness must be minimized.  Subjects must be informed of study results.

11 Institutional Review Board  Most campuses establish an institutional review board to approve research studies.  Committee members provide oversight to protect subjects and weigh anticipated benefits of studies: Risks Long-term effects Review of procedures planned

12 Student Research  Class exercises do not require human subjects approvals or experimental protections. Student projects are exempt from IRB approval, but student actions are the responsibility of the supervising faculty member.  Students should include human subjects protections and procedures as part of learning to be competent researchers. The project proposal addresses IRB concerns.

13 More Information  NIH webpage for training clinical practitioners in ethical research:  Cal Poly Pomona’s IRB: b/default.asp


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