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CHAPTER 2 Ethics in Psychological Research

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1 CHAPTER 2 Ethics in Psychological Research
Course Lecturer: Alla Chavarga Monday 9:05-10:45am

2 If you have not already done so…
ME at Subject: YOUR NAME Psych TA Notice: NO CLASS Feb 17th (Holiday) AND Feb 20th (Conversion Day)

3 CHAPTER 2 Ethics in Psychological Research
Origins of the APA ethics code and its five general principles The role of the Institutional Review Board (IRB) in the research process The ethical questions involved when completing research using children and those from special populations Describe how the ethics code applies to research that involves the Internet Describe the arguments for and against the use of animals in psychological research

4 Questionable Practices
Watson & Rayner (1920) Little Albert Landis (1924) Rat Beheading Ethics – a set of standards governing the conduct of a person or the members of a profession

5 Developing the APA Code of Ethics
Late 30’s: An empirical approach to forming the code was utilized; the critical incidents technique. First APA code of ethics  1953 Hobbs committee APA Ethical Principles of Psychologists and Code of Conduct  2002 (2010 amendments)

6 Developing the APA Code of Ethics
Guidelines for ethical behavior for the practice of research, clinical work, and teaching in psychology Applies to all of us in the field of psychology Code contains: 5 general principles 10 standards of practice

7 APA Ethical Principles of Psychologists and Code of Conduct
General Principles Beneficence and non-maleficence Constantly weigh costs & benefits; protect from harm; produce greatest good Fidelity and responsibility Be professional; constantly be aware of responsibility to society Integrity Be scrupulously honest Justice Always treat people fairly Respect for peoples’ rights and dignity Safeguard individual rights; protect rights of privacy and confidentiality

8 Research and Publication
Identify potential risks Protect participants from physical and psychological harm Justify remaining risks Obtain informed consent Take care of participants after the study (debriefing)

9 Ethical Guidelines for Research with Humans
Judging benefits and costs: the IRB : In 1974, as part of the National Research Act, the federal government mandated that IRBs be in place for any college or university receiving federal funds for research. (IRB = Institutional Review Board) At least five people, including at least one member of the outside community and a minimum of one nonscientist. Determines whether the project meets ethical guidelines Some research is exempt; expedited; full review Key factor: degree of risk to subjects

10 Ethical Guidelines for Research with Humans
Informed consent and deception in research Consent: sufficient information to decide whether to participate Deception rationale Desire to have subjects act naturally Milgram (1963) obedience study as an example Cover story  effect of punishment on learning Real purpose  limits of obedience to authority No consent needed in some circumstances some survey, educational, archival, and observational research

11 Ethical Guidelines for Research with Humans
Elements of consent Study’s basic description Enough information to decide whether to participate How long participation will take May quit at any time Confidentiality and anonymity ensured Contact information given (researcher, IRB) Opportunity to obtain final results of the study Signatures

12 Ethical Guidelines for Research with Humans
Historical example of poor consent Tuskegee syphilis study Willowbrook hepatitis study MK-ULTRA (CIA & LSD) Consent with special populations Children assent also needed Children and other special groups (e.g., prisoners) Special care to avoid feelings of coercion

13 Ethical Guidelines for Research with Humans
Treating participants well Debriefing Dehoaxing Desensitizing Participant crosstalk Code allows partial debriefing followed by full report at completion of the study Research ethics and the Internet Problems with ensuring consent Problems with conducting effective debriefing

14 Ethical Guidelines for Research with Animals
The issue of animal rights Using animals in psychological research Aids both humans and animals Sometimes there is no alternative (tissue, simulation/computer model) The APA Code for animal research / The Institutional Animal Care and Use Committee (IACUC) Justifying the study Cost-benefit analysis No plausible alternatives Caring for the animals e.g., expertise with species, upkeep of animal health Using animals for educational purposes

15 Scientific Fraud Plagiarism Data falsification
Varying degrees (all unethical) Reasons Range from individual weakness to societal moral standards Publish or perish climate in academia

16 Summary As psychological researchers, we adhere to a Code of Ethics regarding research with humans and animals. The APA code and IRBs help guide our decisions and actions in conducting research ethically, responsibly, and with integrity.

17 Lab Prep Your first experiment: TASK-SWITCHING
“The Myth of Multitasking” Assumption: A person can switch their attention and effort between multiple tasks without loss of efficiency (speed and performance).

18 Lab Prep Task-set: effective intention to perform a task; configuring one's mental state (e.g. attention) to be in accordance with the specific operations demanded by the task. Switch cost: The difference in accuracy and performance between a task repeat (A-A) and a task switch (A-B) Task-Set Reconfiguration Theory: once the task set is implemented, it stays in a given state of activation of until it has to be changed, such as when a new task is presented. Switch costs arise from an executive control process that reconfigures the cognitive system to implement the relevant task set.

19 Lab Prep Things to keep in mind…
The rationale for studying this phenomenon Explanation of task-set theory; what would it predict? Pay special attention to methodology; specific details in testing environment What could be some shortcomings? Could anything else be responsible for your results besides your manipulation?

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