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4 ethical principals in social research
- voluntary participation
- no harm to participants
- anonymity and confidentiality
Why is voluntary participation necessary?
- Participating in social sci research project disrupts the life of the subject.
- causes subject to reveal personal info
- entrusts personal info to strangers
drawbacks of voluntary participation
- Some subjects participate because they believe it will benefit them.
- may conflict with the sci goals of the study by biasing the results through selective observation of only those who are willing to participate
- impossible in some types of research
_ can be used to avoid and/or let others know of possible physical and psychological harm
what it means to be truly anonymous in research
The researcher cannot connect a given response to a given respondent - provides the most protection
how anonymity has limited applicability
- only variable in some types of research designs, such as self administered surveys
- any design that involves face to face contact with subjects cannot be anonymous
confidentiality in research
A researcher can connect responses to specific subjects, but promises not to do so publicly - not protected by the constitution
a researcher hiding his/her own identity or the goals of the research where knowing so would allow the subject to manipulate the results
goal of deception in The Asch Experiment
to determine whether subject would be swayed by the pressure to go along with an incorrect answer
ethics of deception
Deception must be justified by compelling scientific concerns - failure to be deceptive would preclude the scientific goals
interviewing subjects to learn about their experiences during the project, and to inform them of any unrevealed purpose, used after deception
ethical controversies from The Tearoom Study
Researcher lied to participants by telling them he was a voyeur-participant while watching participants engage in homosexual behavior, traced them to their home and interviewed them under false pretense.
ethical dilemmas of The Tearoom Study
- Some felt it was a gross invasion of privacy
- Others were concerned about the deceit involved
- Others thought the topic was an important one to study, and that it couldn't be studied in any other way
Aim of ethics
to protect human subjects