Dealing with ethical issues in human Ps

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  • Created by: gracepxx
  • Created on: 18-04-16 15:48


Although we try to prevent ethical issues they still occur - need to prevent any serious harm 

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P1 - Debriefing

Once study complete, Ps should be informed of true aims

Offered oppertunity to discuss any concerns and to withdraw data from study

Componsates for lack of oppertunity to give informed consent

However, debriefing can't turn back clock - Ps may still feel embarrssed or have lowered self esteem

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P2 - Presumptive consent

Method of dealing with lack of informed consent / deception 

Ask group of people similar to Ps whether they would agree to take part

If consent to procedures proposed, presume real Ps would too

However, in a sense Milgram (1963) sought presumptive consent

Interviewed 14 Yale psychology students - estimated nobody would go over 450 V

Suggested no potential for psychological harm so Ps would be "happy" to take part

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P3 - Ethical committee

Every institution where research takes place has committee which must approve of study before it takes place

Looks at possible ethical issues and how researcher suggests they should be dealt with

Weigh up possible benefits of research with possible costs of study

Howver, cost-benefit decisions flawed because judgements are subjective and costs aren't always apparent until after study

Appraoch may raise more problems than it solves

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P4 - Ethical guidelines

Professional bodies such as BPS and APA produce ethical guidelines and codes of conduct

Intend to tell psychologists what isn't acceptable and tell them how to deal with dilemmas

However "rules & sanctions" approach is rather general - impossible to cover every situation researcher may encounter

CPA takes different approach - presents series of hypothetical dilemmas and invites discussion

Encourages discussion whereas BPS/APA approach closes off discussion as answers to what is right/wrong are provided already

Guidelines also absolve researcher of responsibility - claim they followed the guidelines so research is acceptable 

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P5 - Punishment

If psychologists behave unacceptably and unethically then BPS reviwes research and might bar person from practicing as psychologist

Not a legal matter but will impact livelihood

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