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Research Ethics Chapter 2 . Responsible research. The ultimate goal of research is to understand behavior in ways that will benefit humanity, not to satisfy idle curiosity. Researchers have the responsibility (both ethically and legally) not to harm subjects. Regulatory Groups.

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responsible research
Responsible research
  • The ultimate goal of research is to understand behavior in ways that will benefit humanity, not to satisfy idle curiosity.
  • Researchers have the responsibility (both ethically and legally) not to harm subjects.
regulatory groups
Regulatory Groups
  • Institutional Review Board (human subjects)
  • Institutional Animal Care and Use Committee (vertebrate animals)
a subject at risk
A subject at risk
  • May be harmed in some way by participating in the research.
  • The IRB ensures that the safety of research participants is adequately protected.
  • Any potential risks to the participants are considered and weighted against the potential benefits of the knowledge to be gained (risk/benefit analysis).
informed consent
Informed consent

The IRB protects the rights of individuals through informed consent –

  • subjects must agree to participate after being told of the nature and purpose of the study.
  • Consent must be given freely (no force, duress or coercion)
  • Subjects can drop out at any time
  • Full explanation of procedures
  • Statement of risks and benefits of the experiment
  • Assurance that data will remain private and confidential
  • Subjects can not be asked to release researchers from liability
a sample informed consent form is shown on page 39 box 2 2 of the textbook
A sample Informed consent form is shown on page 39 (Box 2.2) of the textbook.
  • subjects may not retain much of the information contained in written consent forms (Mann, 1994).
  • Therefore, it is important to provide verbal reinforcement of information to ensure understanding and consent.
minimal risk
Minimal risk
  • Defined as “risk that is no greater in probability and severity than that ordinarily encountered in daily life or during the performance of routine physical or psychological examinations or tests.”
  • Odds of being harmed are not altered by participation in the research study.
  • Informed consent is not always mandatory for minimal risk research.
  • Sometimes omitting information or deception is required to test a hypothesis.
  • Deception is used in 60% of psychological studies.
  • The APA has set standards for deception in research. They include…
apa standards on deception
APA standards on deception
  • The use of deception must be justified by the scientific, educational, or applied value of the study
  • Equally effective alternatives are not feasible
  • Deception must not influence the subjects decision to take part in the research
  • Deception must be explained as early as possible
  • Explaining the true nature and purpose of a study after the subject is finished
  • Further adheres to the principle of full disclosure.
  • Debriefing does not always undo the effects of deception…
bramel 1963
Bramel (1963)
  • Attributive projection – the process of projecting our own traits onto someone else.
  • Deception was used to ensure that a subject was aware of possessing a trait that they might project.
  • Males viewed pictures of males in various stages of nudity.
  • Subjects were given false feedback about their level of arousal, leading them to believe that they possessed homosexual tendencies.
bramel 19631
Bramel (1963)
  • Subjects were then tested for projection of sexual arousal onto others.
  • They were asked to estimate the arousal of others when they saw the pictures.
  • Bramel found that subjects projected arousal onto others like them (students) but not onto other people who were unlike them (criminals).
  • Subjects were debriefed but it may not have been enough. What do you think?
advantages of using animal subjects
Advantages of using Animal Subjects:
  • Simple systems approach
  • Comparative approach
  • Ethical reasons
  • Pre-clinical research
benefit of animal research to humans http www amprogress org
Benefit of Animal Research to Humans (
  • Antibiotics for the treatment of bacterial infections
  • Vaccines for smallpox, tetanus, diptheria, polio, measles, lyme disease, hepatitis B and chicken pox
  • Gene therapy
  • Treatment of rheumatoid arthritis
  • Insulin to control diabetes
  • Anti-coagulants, anesthesia, and neuromuscular blocking agents
  • Chemotherapy for cancer patients
  • Pacemaker implants to treat cardiac patients
  • Discovery of the HIV virus and development of drugs to control the progression of AIDS
  • Use of AZT to prevent HIV transmission from mother to child
  • Organ transplantation techniques
  • Advances in cardiology, including coronary blood flow, coronary bypass techniques and high blood pressure medication
  • Development of monoclonal antibodies for treating diseases
  • Corneal transplantation
  • Cyclosporin and other anti-rejection drugs
  • Bone marrow transplantation
animal rights movement
Animal Rights Movement
  • Extremes on both sides of the issue should be avoided.
  • With proper care and oversight, animal research can be a valuable activity that benefits both animals and humans.
  • Finding treatments and cures for diseases, including psychological and behavioral disorders is an accepted use of animals, among others.
animal welfare regulations
Animal Welfare Regulations
  • Animal Welfare Act of 1966 (amended in 1970, and recently reamended by Congress, 1991).
  • Institutional Animal Care and Use Committee (IACUC)
  • American Association for Laboratory Animal Science (AALAS)
  • American Association for Accreditation of Laboratory Animal Care (AAALAC)

Guidelines for the Care and Use of Mammals in Neuroscience and Behavioral Research (2003)

Guide for the Care and Use of Laboratory Animals (1996)

scientific fraud
Scientific Fraud
  • Plagiarism
  • Fabricate data
scientific fraud what are the safeguards
Scientific Fraud:What are the safeguards?
  • Peer review
  • Replication
  • Competition (publish or perish)
avoiding plagiarism
Avoiding Plagiarism
  • Include details of the source when you take notes before writing your paper.
  • Always cite the source when the idea, information or wording is not your own.
  • Use quotation marks when taking a direct quote and give the page number in addition to the standard citation.
  • Include a citation when paraphrasing
  • List all references you use
  • If ever in doubt, err on the side of caution and cite the source in question.