Human Ethics

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  • Created on: 08-05-13 13:46
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Human Ethics
Consent - can only be given by participants who fully understand what they are agreeing to
take part in. Researchers should not use any form of payment or their position of power to
Debrief - a full explanation of the research participants have taken part in which should be
given as soon as they are aware they have taken part. The researcher should also ensure the
experience was not distressing and that participants leave the study in as positive a mood as
they entered.
Deception ­ should be avoided where possible! Participants should be told the aim as
soon as possible and deception should not be used when it is likely to cause distress when
Protection ­ participants should be protected from physical and psychological harm,
including stress. They should not be exposed to any more risk than they would encounter in
their usual lifestyle.
Withdrawal ­ participants should be made aware of their right to withdraw at any point
during the study and payment does not affect this right. In debrief, participants should have
the right to withdraw their data.
These are important;
To avoid physical harm to participants humans have feelings + experience pain so
these should be considered when deciding whether or not to carry out a study.
To protect the right of participants researchers should consult colleagues to get a
second opinion and not work outside of their competence
To put participants at ease is participants feel pressured then valid data may not
be found. Confidentiality many mean they are more likely to fully cooperate
To protect against complaints these can be avoided if consent is gained
So the public have confidence in psychology competence = participants can trust
psychologists which means more studies can be done and the public perception will
remain positive.
Issues with following guidelines;
Guideline Problem How to solve

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Consent Can bias results ­ demand Debrief
Debrief Participants can withdraw Follow up studies
data = small sample
Protection Difficult to predict stress = Cost benefit analysis + after
limits research care
Deception Sometimes essential to gain Debrief
valid results
Withdrawal Reduces sample Make procedure less
e.g. Milgram strenuous.…read more


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