Ethics

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Research methods revision
Ethics
Issues with confidentiality
Participants must be anonymous. The researcher shouldn't use the participants'
real name or share any personal information including photographs of the
participant when referring to a particular participant. Instead pseudonyms,
letters or numbers should be used when referring to a participant.
Issues with consent
Participants should be able to give their fully informed consent before taking
part in an investigation. They should know that the experiment is about although
this may invalidate the results due to demand characteristics. Prior general
consent can be used which involves the participant being generally informed about
the experiment. This reduces demand characteristics but means the participants
still aren't fully informed about the experiment. Also, presumptive consent could
be given which involves informing the participants in 1 group about the experiment
but not using this group in the study. A 2nd group is used in the experiment who
haven't been informed about the study or been given a chance to consent as the
investigator assumes that as the 1st group gave consent then the 2nd group will too.
However, this is still not gaining actual consent from the real participants.
Issues with deception
Participants may be misinformed about aspects of the experiment. Active
deception is lying about the experiment and passive deception is telling the
participant about the experiment but missing out some vital information. If
participants are lied to then they don't know the real aim of the experiment so
they can't give their fully informed consent. However, deception removes demand
characteristics so the results are valid.
Issues with the right to withdraw
Participants should be told they can leave the experiment at anytime. They should
also be debriefed and asked if they are still happy for their data to be used. If
they aren't then their data must be removed.
Issues with harm
Participants should be protected from stress (psychological harm) and distress
(physical harm). The experimenter must decide whether a participant is too
stressed to continue and must let them leave if they ask too. Participants can also
be offered counselling at the end of the experiment if necessary.
Debriefing

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Research methods revision
The experimenter must thank the participants for taking part and tell them the
general results and the aim of the experiment and offer counselling sessions in
extreme cases. They must ask the participant if they are still happy for their data
to be used.…read more

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