Ethical Issues and How to Resolve Them

Lists all 5 ethical issues, what they are and how to resolve them.

In bold is the key terminology recommended for use in the exam for higher grade students.

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  • Created by: lucy~
  • Created on: 09-10-13 20:34

Informed Consent

Informed Consent

Investigators should inform all participants what the objectives of the study are and explain all factors of the experiment which may affect their willingness to take part.

Resolution:

If full informed consent is not possible, psychologists can gain other forms of consent:

Parental Consent/Loci Parentis - Parents or Guardians can consent for under 16s to take part in research however where possible the real consent from children should be obtained as well as parental consent.

Prior General Consent - Participants agree to be mislead during the study and are not fully aware of the true aims of the study

Presumptive Consent - People similar to the participants of the experiment but are not actually taking part are explained the aims, method and hypotheses then asked if they would be willing to take part or not. Basically presuming that their actual participants would take part too.

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Deception

Deception

Investigators should not intentionally withhold information, be untruthful or mislead participants if they are likely to be upset by it. This may create a reputation of psychologists as untrustworthy. Alternative methods of investigations which avoid deception must be considered first.

Resolution:

Debriefing - Participants should be given information regarding the true aims, procedures and results of the study. Participants should understand the study and not be upset by any aspect. Ideally participants should leave the experiment with the same state of mind as to which they entered it. 

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Protection from Harm

Protection from Harm

Investigators must ensure they protect participants from physical and mental harm during the investigatoion. The risk of harm must be no greater than everyday life and should not take place if it involves deliberate harm. If harm to participants cannot be minimised the study should be terminated immediately.

Resolution:

Participant Questioning - Participants should be questioned regarding the risk of mental and physical harm e.g existing mental health, family health records etc. Any undesirable procedures can then be removed from the experiment

Contacting the Researcher - Participants should be given details of how to contact the researcher and other medical professionals if any stress or harm occurs

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Confidentiality

Confidentiality

Investigators must adhere to the Data Protection Act and ensure that all information collected is kept confidential. Any information published should be unidentifiable to the participants and should therefore be anonymous.

Resolution:

Do not use full names - researchers should avoid using full names and refer to participants with initials (K.R), psuedonames (Genie) or numbers (#3)

Do not provide personal information - researchers should not disclose personal information about participants e.g address, town, photographs etc


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Right to Withdraw

Right to Withdraw

Researchers must state that participants can leave the investigation at any time, even if they have been paid to participate. Participant reluctance must be taken as evidence of participants wanting to leave. Participants should be offered to decline to answer any questions or take part within certain aspects if they so wish. The participants also have the right to request their data to be removed and destroyed retrospectively.

Resolution?

Briefing - Participants are informed of their right to withdraw at the beginning of the experiment

Debriefing - Participants are reminded that they can request their data to be removed if they so wish.

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