Moral issues rarely yield a simple, unambiguous, right or wrong answer. It is therefore often a matter of judgement whether the research is justified or not. For example, it might be that a study causes psychological or physical discomfort to participants, maybe they suffer pain or perhaps even come to serious harm. On the other hand the investigation could lead to discoveries that benefit the participants themselves or even have the potential to increase the sum of human happiness.
Rosenthal and Rosnow also talk about the potential costs of failing to carry out certain research. Who is to weigh up these costs and benefits? Who is to judge whether the ends justify the means? Finally, if you are ever in doubt as to whether research is ethical or not it is worthwhile remembering that if there is a conflict of interest between the participants and the researcher it is the interests of the subjects that should take priority.
Studies must now undergo an extensive review by an institutional review board US or ethics committee UK before they are implemented. All UK research requires ethical approval by one or more of the following:. Committees review proposals to assess if the potential benefits of the research are justifiable in the light of possible risk of physical or psychological harm.
These committees may request researchers make changes to the study's design or procedure, or in extreme cases deny approval of the study altogether. Some of the more important ethical issues are as follows: Whenever possible investigators should obtain the consent of participants. They also need to know what it is that they are agreeing to. In other words the psychologist should, so far as is practicable explain what is involved in advance and obtain the informed consent of participants.
Before the study begins the researcher must outline to the participants what the research is about, and then ask their consent i. However, it is not always possible to gain informed consent. Where it is impossible for the researcher to ask the actual participants, a similar group of people can be asked how they would feel about taking part.
If they think it would be OK then it can be assumed that the real participants will also find it acceptable. This is known as presumptive consent. After the research is over the participant should be able to discuss the procedure and the findings with the psychologist. Select from one of the other courses available: Don't miss these related articles:. Check out our quiz-page with tests about: Back to Overview "Ethics in Research".
Search over articles on psychology, science, and experiments. Leave this field blank: Want to stay up to date? Save this course for later Don't have time for it all now? Add to my courses. Take it with you wherever you go. But now, those who were threatened with fatal illness were saying to the research establishment that they wanted to be test subjects, even under experimental conditions of considerable risk.
You had several very vocal and articulate patient groups who wanted to be experimented on coming up against an ethical review system that was designed to protect them from being experimented on. Although the last few years in the ethics of research have been tumultuous ones, it is beginning to appear that a new consensus is evolving that involves the stakeholder groups most affected by a problem participating more actively in the formulation of guidelines for research.
While it's not entirely clear, at present, what the new consensus will be, it is almost certain that it will not fall at either extreme: There are a number of key phrases that describe the system of ethical protections that the contemporary social and medical research establishment have created to try to protect better the rights of their research participants.
The principle of voluntary participation requires that people not be coerced into participating in research. This is especially relevant where researchers had previously relied on 'captive audiences' for their subjects -- prisons, universities, and places like that.
Closely related to the notion of voluntary participation is the requirement of informed consent. Essentially, this means that prospective research participants must be fully informed about the procedures and risks involved in research and must give their consent to participate.
Ethical standards also require that researchers not put participants in a situation where they might be at risk of harm as a result of their participation. Harm can be defined as both physical and psychological.
We are going through a time of profound change in our understanding of the ethics of applied social research. From the time immediately after World War II until the early s, there was a gradually developing consensus about the key ethical principles that should underlie the research endeavor.
Ethical Considerations can be specified as one of the most important parts of the research. Dissertations may even be doomed to failure if this part is missing. According to Bryman and Bell () the following ten points represent the most important principles related to ethical considerations.
The important ethics in research that scientists must follow. Examples of problematic experiments and preventing unethical research. Ethical and Legal Aspects of Human Subjects Research in Cyberspace. It has become very easy to collect both experimental and survey data using the Internet. It has become very easy to collect both experimental and survey data using the Internet.
Obviously,ethical issues can be raised throughout all phases of research, notably problem definition,stating research objectives/ hypotheses, literature review, choice of research design,questionnaire design, data collection procedures, data editing and cleaning, choice ofstatistical methods, data analysis, conclusions and recommendations, and. Finally, education in research ethics should be able to help researchers grapple with the ethical dilemmas they are likely to encounter by introducing them to important concepts, tools, principles, and methods that can be useful in resolving these dilemmas.