Southern Methodist UniversityPSYC 3382 2 Ethics in Research Milgram Obedience Studies –Teacher and Learner –Teacher asks Learner questions –When learner is wrong, teacher shocks him/her –Teacher increases voltage with each wrong answer –Experimenter: “The experiment requires that you continue”
Southern Methodist UniversityPSYC 3382 3 Research with Human Participants Potential Issues –Protection of Participants –Protection of the field (liability) –Protection of Research Future participation Maintaining funding –Protection of Institutions IRB –Ethical use of research Implications
Southern Methodist UniversityPSYC 3382 4 Human Research (2) Potential Areas of Ethical Issues –Treatment of Participants IV manipulations –Velten mood induction »Is it ethical to manipulate the mood of participants? »Read self-depressing statements »Watch very sad scenes of movies »Listen to sad music (Russian death march) –Conflict »Is it ethical to create conflicts between participants? –What if the IV creates a strong, positive effect? »Is it ethical to exclude some participants from the benefits of a favorable manipulation?
Southern Methodist UniversityPSYC 3382 5 American Psychological Association (APA) Code 1.Investigator has ethical responsibility with research design 2.Determine level of participant risk 3.Investigator has oversight of ethical considerations (treatment by all involved) 4.Establish clear and fair agreement for participation
Southern Methodist UniversityPSYC 3382 6 APA Code (2) 5. Deception –Determination of value research –Debrief afterward to explain deception 6. Freedom to decline participation 7.Prevent physical or mental discomfort, harm, or danger and get informed consent about these risks 8.Researcher should debrief after completion of the study
Southern Methodist UniversityPSYC 3382 7 APA Code (3) 9. Researcher has responsibility to detect and remove negative consequences of participation 10.Maintain confidentiality at all times –Issue: Freedom of Information Act Is research supported by federal funds subject to FOIA? If so, how much is public? Names, data, results?
Southern Methodist UniversityPSYC 3382 8 Informed Consent and Deception Inform of “all aspects of the research that might reasonably be expected to influence willingness to participate…” –How do you define “reasonably”? Reasonable man, woman, and person standards in law Informed consent: Potential participants must be in a position to decide whether to participate in an experiment
Southern Methodist UniversityPSYC 3382 9 Deception (2) Cover story: provide a plausible explanation for the research procedures to cover true intention or procedure Deception: Research technique in which the participant is mislead about some aspect of the project –Used to control for participant reactivity –Might be as simple as stating that a different aspect of the manipulation is what is of interest (e.g. Ss told measuring attitudes but actually interested in group interaction)
Southern Methodist UniversityPSYC 3382 10 Deception (3) Why is deception necessary (sometimes)? –Reactivity –Social desirability –Response acquiescence/deviance –Manipulate different mental states Conflict vs. cooperation mental sets have effects on social categorization Imagining that you are in conflict is different than being in conflict
Southern Methodist UniversityPSYC 3382 11 Deception (4) Follows ethical philosophy of Utilitarianism –Greatest good for the greatest number of people Ethics = (-6 units of harm X 40 Ss) + (+1 units of good X 5000 people) (-240 + 5000 = 4760) –Tradeoff between deception of participants and importance of the question being addressed Fully informed consent is the norm, and greater scrutiny is provided in cases where there is less than full information
Southern Methodist UniversityPSYC 3382 12 Freedom to Withdraw Participants are allowed to withdraw from participation at any time Do you give participation credit for completion of study or for volunteering?
Southern Methodist UniversityPSYC 3382 13 Protection from Harm Harm is both physical and psychological Research participation can often have unintended effects –Frustration from inability to complete a cognitive or memory task –Learn something undesirable about yourself
Southern Methodist UniversityPSYC 3382 14 Debriefing Researcher explains the general purposes of the research –Much more detailed when the research involved deception Explain that there was deception Explain why the deception was necessary
Southern Methodist UniversityPSYC 3382 15 Removing Harmful Consequences Induce positive mood after a negative mood induction manipulation Provide contact information for helping resources Tell them what to expect and how to react to the consequences
Southern Methodist UniversityPSYC 3382 16 Confidentiality Information is confidential unless otherwise agreed Personal information is not revealed (name, SS#, phone #, etc.) What if you give a depression test and find someone is suicidal or severely depressed? Competing ethical principles
Southern Methodist UniversityPSYC 3382 17 Animal Research Ethics Many psychology departments that once had animal labs no longer do Animals are often used to answer questions that would be impossible or impractical to answer with humans Arguments against animal research: –Animals feel pain and their lives can be destroyed –Destroying any living thing is dehumanizing –Speciesism: neglecting the rights of other species
Southern Methodist UniversityPSYC 3382 18 Animal Research Ethics (2) Arguments for animal research –Utility: animals are harmed or killed only if absolutely necessary (no intentional torture) and the implications of the research is worthwhile –We almost all use animal products or animal-tested products daily Meat, drugs, clothing Cosmetics – no animal testing b/c deemed not worthwhile –Some animal research benefits animals Find non-lethal methods of crop protection
Southern Methodist UniversityPSYC 3382 19 Animal Research Ethics (3) Guidelines for their use –Ethics are not always yes/no issues, but process issues (how they are used) Care, use, and disposal of animals Supervision and accountability Minimize discomfort and pain If termination is necessary, do it rapidly and painlessly –We are more willing to accept euthanasia for animals in pain, so we do have some different standards –Not an easy issue: Only really good argument is utility
Southern Methodist UniversityPSYC 3382 20 Ethics in Drug Research Qualified researchers using regulated procedures Different standards for different drugs –Drug classification Some drugs are considered as having no value (treatment or research) –Standards change with the times –LSD was thought to be a particularly promising drug for understanding insanity, consciousness
Southern Methodist UniversityPSYC 3382 21 Bias in Research Inadvertent researcher bias –Researchers are fallible and have own ideas, beliefs, politics Avoiding bias –Double-blind studies Removing bias in interpretations –Placebo studies –Control groups
Southern Methodist UniversityPSYC 3382 22 No Control Group
Southern Methodist UniversityPSYC 3382 23 Control Group
Southern Methodist UniversityPSYC 3382 24 Fraud Fraud (deliberate bias) is a separate issue than normal research ethics and is (fortunately) rare –Faking data or altering data –Not presenting data that disagree with one’s opinions –Peer review process (oversight) –There are ways for fraudulent research to enter the mainstream database (citation chain)