Parts of an Experiment Welcome & orient subjects. Informed consent. Instructions. Subject does task. Demographic questionnaire or other measurement used to classify subjects. Debriefing. Always thank the subject for helping!
CITI Training (Basic 101) Before you start testing subjects, you must have completed the online CITI training AND have my approval to conduct your experiment. You should also know APA guidelines -- the preamble + 10 general principles on pp. 84-85 & following pages (Kantowitz). These principles can be summarized into 6 basic tenets.
Basic Tenets of Research Ethics Society decides what’s right & wrong. Responsibility lies with the experimenter Minimal risk versus “at risk” Informed consent and freedom to decline. Cost-benefit analysis Confidentiality and debriefing procedures
Examples of Unethical Studies Zimbardo’s Stanford Prison Experiment http://www.prisonexp.org/ Ivy League Nude Posture Photo Scandal http://www.en.utexas.edu/amlit/amlitprivate/texts/posture.htm Tuskegee Syphillis Study http://www.tuskegee.edu/about_us/centers_of_excellence/bioethics_center/ about_the_usphs_syphilis_study.aspx http://www.tuskegee.edu/about_us/centers_of_excellence/bioethics_center/ about_the_usphs_syphilis_study.aspx Marc Hauser’s Monkey studies http://www.nytimes.com/2010/08/14/education/14harvard.html?_r=1&hp# Facebook http://www.avclub.com/article/facebook-tinkered-users-feeds-massive- psychology-e-206324 http://www.avclub.com/article/facebook-tinkered-users-feeds-massive- psychology-e-206324
Right and Wrong People obviously differ in their beliefs about what is right and wrong. Experimenters are biased, so oversight is necessary. Institutional Review Board (IRB) provides necessary protections for subjects (human and animals). Be conservative and seek advice. “Do unto others even better than you would have them do unto you.”
The Responsibility is YOURS Experimenters are held responsible for the ethics of an experiment. Even if an IRB approves an experiment, the experimenter is still held responsible. Your job is to protect subjects from any discomfort in the research procedures: Subject should leave in same state as they came into the student. Advice from dissimilar others is one way to check your values.
Minimal Risk versus “At Risk” Minimal risk -- the anticipated risks posed by the research are no more than those encountered in daily life. At-risk -- the anticipated risks posed by the research are more than those expected in everyday life. Informed consent is required for at-risk research. Informed consent is a good idea for any experiment – can be verbal or written.
Freedom to Stop Informed consent -- informing subjects of all aspects of the research that might influence their willingness to participate and answering any other questions they have. Subjects are always free to withdraw from the experiment at any time without penalty. Deception requires special considerations because the subject is not truly informed.
Cost-Benefit Analysis Experimenters should always compare the costs of doing the research with the expected benefits of the results. This is even more important if the research costs involve deception. The greater the deception, the greater the expected benefits should be. Must explore non-deceptive alternatives.
Confidentiality and Debriefing All subject data are kept confidential. If possible, keep data separate from names. Ask about age, gender, etc, but keep such info separate from the names. Upon completion, debrief subjects ASAP. Debriefing involves telling subjects your hypothesis and what you expect to find. Follow up when long term effects are possible.