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Ethics in Psychological Research
Experimental Psychology
Lecture, Ch. 3

Patient Self-Determination Act of 1990
    Autonomy – patient has right to make own choices as long as able
    Beneficience – goal to do what is in the patient’s best interest
    nonmaleficience – goal to avoid harm to the patient
    Fidelity – honesty from medical care about condition
    Respect – for all patients had various backgrounds
    Justice – equality and non-descrimination in health care.

APA Principles of Conduct in Research with Humans
Ethical values:
    Voluntary participation (autonomy)
    Subject well-being (beneficience & non-maleficience)
    Identity disclosure/autonomy (respect/justice)
    Confidentiality (respect/justice)
Informed consent to research
    Purpose, duration and procedures
    Right to decline
    Consequences of declining
    Potential risks
    Potential benefits
Limits of confidentiality
Incentives
Opportunity to ask questions

Use of Experimental Treatments
Researchers must clarify the following with participants at the beginning of a study:
    Experimental nature of the treatment
    Services that will or will not be available to the control group
    Process for assigning participants to treatment or control groups
    Available treatment alternatives if a person chooses not to participate or to withdraw during the study
    Compensation to participant for participating and whether reimbursement will be sought

Deception in research:
    Potential value must outweigh the risks
    No deception if research will cause physical or emotional duress
    Reveal deception to participants as early as possible

Degree of risk:
Participants at risk – by participating in the study, there is risk of emotional or physical harm to the participant.

Participants at minimal risk – no harmful effects as a result of participating in the study

Debriefing
Use debriefing to convey the researcher’s integrity as a scientist. Participants must be reassured that any deception was part of the project and not a reflection of their intelligence. Repeat all guarantees of confidentiality and anonymity to the participant, and complete debriefing as soon as possible.

Ethical Use of Animals
Acquire, care for, use, and dispose of animals in compliance with federal, state, and local laws.
Be trained in research methods and care of lab animals, providing comfort, health, and humane treatment to animals.
All lab workers supervised by psychologists should be well trained in caring for animals.
Minimize discomfort, infection, illness, and pain of animals
Subject animals to pain, stress, or privation only when alternate means are unavailable and value is high.
Perform surgical procedures using anesthesia and efforts to avoid infection and minimize pain before and after surgery.
When life must be terminated, do it quickly, minimize pain, and follow appropriate procedures.

Additional Ethical Issues
Vulnerable populations, including minority populations, individuals with disabilities, and children.

Institutional Review Board (IRB) – makes sure that the measurements, procedures, and treatment of participants fall within acceptable ethical standards.


Researcher’s Obligations
No plagiarism

No fabrication of data

Accurate statistical representation – always be objective; avoid bias.

Correct citation of references