Ethics in Psychological Research
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
Voluntary participation (autonomy)
Subject well-being (beneficience & non-maleficience)
Identity disclosure/autonomy (respect/justice)
Informed consent to research
Purpose, duration and procedures
Right to decline
Consequences of declining
Limits of confidentiality
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
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.
No fabrication of data
Accurate statistical representation – always be objective; avoid bias.
Correct citation of references