PY3- WJEC- A2- ETHICAL ISSUES WITH NON-HUMAN PARTICIPANTS

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  • Created by: Nabobby
  • Created on: 12-01-13 19:11

Ethical Issues with Non-human Participants

INTRODUCTION- When conducting research on non-human participants we must use a cost versus benefit analysis. As with research with human participants, there are guidelines in place to protect the animals.

THE THREE R'S-

  • Refine (experimental procedures to minimise suffering for the animals).
  • Reduce (the number of animals sued to the minimum required).
  • Replace (the use of animals. e.g.using micro-organisms, vitro methods. Be as economical as possible). 

Similar to the three R's is Bateson's cube.

These are both pieces of legislation to protect animals. 

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Ethical Issues with Non-human Participants

TWO WAYS OF PROTECTING THE PARTICIPANTS IS BY MINIMIZING THE PHYSICAL AND PSYCHOLOGICAL HARM AND SUFFERING OF THE PPTS- 

EXAMPLES- HARLOW- surrogate mother experiment- monkey is taken from it's mother and presented with a wire monkey and blanket monkey. The monkeys became anoxeric and were seen rocking back and forth presenting psychological and physiological harm. It also had a lasting effect on their lives as they were unable to exhibit normal sexual behaviour and became socially isolate.

CHENEY- recorded alarm calls in monkeys, however they may have put the monkeys in danger of predators as they became accustomed to the monkeys alarm calls. Also, the psychological stress of the alarm calls.

GARDNER AND GARDNER- Washoe became socially isolated when placed in an enclosure after the experiment, could not return to normal life.

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REASONS FOR CONDUCTING NON- HUMAN RESEARCH IN PSYCHOLOGY:

CONVENIENCE- good subjects as they do not require consent and do not try to understand the purpose of the experiment. Also, more controllable.

EVOLUTIONARY CONTINUUM- researchers use the theory of evolution to argue that animals and humans share common ancestors so they may be made of the same 'building blocks'. It makes sense tostudy simpler organisms first and then generalise to human behaviour. EXAMPLES- Therapies can be established, such as aversion therapy derived from classical conditioning which was creative with Pavlov. 

ETHICAL REASONS- moral obligations to help humans first and without animal research, many benefits for humans would not exist. EXAMPLES- Seligman- electric shocks to dogs to hind legs, learnt helplessness.. helps us to understand depression.

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REASONS FOR NOT CONDUCTING NON- HUMAN RESEARCH IN PSYCHOLOGY-

PAIN AND DISTRESS- inflicting any suffering of another creatureis morally objectionable. In many cases the suffering of animals has not been justified by the knowledge gained from the studies.

EXAMPLES- Jauvet- experiment to do with sleep deprivation using cats on a small island surrounded by water. This research could have been seen as redundant as there is already research into sleep deprivation with humans. Sneddon et al- injected rainbow trout with bee venom who started to rock side to side, their breathing rate went up and they rubbied their lips on the tank. However, it cannot be said that fish do feel pain from the poisonous stimulus. 

HUMANS ARE DIFFERENT TO ANIMALS- such as differences in many things such as: human consiousness, brain structure etc. HOWEVER Gray counteracts this with his research into anti-anxiety drugs with rats where he found similar results to those when experimenting with humans suggesting there may be a possible generalisation.

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REASONS FOR NOT CONDUCTING NON-HUMAN RESEARCH IN PSYCHOLOGY-

EMPTY CAGES- REGAN argued that animals should never be used in research no matter what the benefits and no matter how well their needs are looked after. Regan argues that justice does not demand larger and cleaner cages, BUT empty cages.

CONCLUSION-

In the past it may have been a necessity to conduct animal research. However, in today's society where there are many viable alternatives available (e.e growing cell cultures and also brain/body scanning/imaging techniques) that it is highly questionable to use animals at all in research. 

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Comments

Jasmine

thank you for this. I have been searching for resources on this for ever. This will really help me in my exam 

vskarolewski

Great, highlights the important bits for the essay. Thanks a lot

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