Science vs. Ethics

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Name the 6 ethical issues.
Informed consent, deception, right to withdraw, protection from harm, confidentiality and privacy
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What is a cost-benefit analysis?
The process of deciding whether the ethical costs outweigh the scientific benefits- what are the benefits/costs? Can it be done any other way? Will the finding be useful to society?
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What was the Blakemore and Cooper (1970) study?
Testing kittens to see if perceptual abilities are learnt or innate- kept them in a dark box so that they were unable to see, found that those who only saw vertical lines could not see horizontal when released
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What ethical costs were there?
Consent- animals can't consent to take part, who does on their behalf? Protection from harm- there may be long term effects to being kept in a box physical and psychological
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What were the benefits of this study?
Provided a lot of insight into children born with squints (when both eyes don't work together) helped developed therapy and surgery which helps correct it
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What was Milgram's (1963) study?
Studied the effects of an authority figure on obedience- ppt had to administer electric shocks to someone on the doctor's command
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What ethical costs were there?
Deceptiom- the ppts didn't know the true aims of the study, thought they were studying the effects of punishment on learning, informed consent, protection from harm and right to withdraw- they were told to proceed even if they asked to leave
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What were the scientific benefits?
Encouraged a lot of other studies which helps further understanding, helped gain an insight into WWII- however Mandel (1998) highlights that the closeness of the victim doesn't effect obedience like he stated (German soldiers)- provided an excuse
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What was Zimbardo's (1971) study?
Prison experiment- used role play to look at whether situational or dispositional factors were used to explain the behaviour of prison guards and prisoners
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What were the ethical costs?
Refused the right to withdraw- other psychologists had to intervene because it got out of hand, protection from harm- some ppts needed therapy, burised etc. - however Zimbardo couldn't have known how the experiment would proceed
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What were the scientific benefits?
Found that prison guards behaviour is due to situational factors (conforming to the role)- ZImbardo hoped his study would change American prisons but little evidence to support that it did- was a replication in 2006
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What was the HM case study?
Henry Molaison suffered from amnesia after a psychologist removed his hippocampus hoping that it would stop his epilepsy- he was used as a case study for his whole life
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What were the ethical costs?
Protection from harm- lost his memory, right to withdraw- couldn't because he didn't know he was a case study (consent) however he did mention freely he wanted to donate his brain to science
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What were the scientific benefits?
Provided important insights into how memory works and the role of the hippocampus and temporal lobes- helped with the treatment and understanding of amnesia
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What was Humphrey's Tea Room (1970) study?
Wanted to prove that common prejudices of homosexuals were misconceptions and found that most were heterosexual men
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What were the ethical costs?
Privacy- he noted the license plate no. and then found out info about the men and came to their home pretending to be a health worker, deception and informed consent
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What were the scientific benefits?
The info that some people had both relationships homosexual and heterosexual was already known so the benefits of this study are debatable
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Does the cost-benefit analysis work?
Diana Baumrind (1975) argues that it solves nothing because it creates another dilemma whilst trying to sort one dilemma- it suggests that some harm is acceptable, should this be the case?
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Card 2

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What is a cost-benefit analysis?

Back

The process of deciding whether the ethical costs outweigh the scientific benefits- what are the benefits/costs? Can it be done any other way? Will the finding be useful to society?

Card 3

Front

What was the Blakemore and Cooper (1970) study?

Back

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Card 4

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What ethical costs were there?

Back

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Card 5

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What were the benefits of this study?

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