Ethical Standards in Psychology



today we are going to be learning about ethical standards and psychology the first thing that we have to define is ethics ethics are methods of conduct or standards for proper and responsible behavior as you know the study of ethics is very important so important that we have a class at Pine Lake but it is especially important in the study of psychology as well so psychology has a series of ethical principles that were published by the American Psychological Association those were published in 1992 and since then they have added amendments so the most recent amendments were added in 2010 these are very long list of ethical guidelines and today we're just covering a few of the highlights so you might be wondering why do we need ethical standards ethical standards are in place to make sure that no physical or psychological harm comes to the participants in Psychological studies so everything goes back to that question how can we protect the participants from physical and psychological harm so in order to get research approved all proposals have to be taken to these ethics committees also known as institutional review boards or IR B's and what happens is these group of people are going to look over the research research proposal and this is all going to take place before the research begins just to make sure that the study is ethical so these IR B's can either approve the research disapprove or require modifications in the research study and then once approval is obtained research can begin so approval has to be obtained first before research can begin and most of those IRB czar in university settings just because a lot of research takes place in universities all right so next we're gonna go over some of the common ethical guidelines the first relates to the risk-benefit ratio so it has to be determined if the rights and well what are the rights and well-being of participants against waited against the study's value to science so in other words people and their rights are going to come first over research one funny story kind of funny story that I have related to this is there was a high school teacher who assigned a project where the students were expected to interview an elderly member of the community about end-of-life and so the interviewer was asking this elderly person a series of questions and it caused the elderly person so much distress thinking about the end of life that they were unable to continue so in that case the well-being their psychological well-being didn't it wasn't worth asking the questions of them because it caused them so much distress and also when we're thinking about risks as in physical or psychological risks the they have to be similar to what a person experiences in everyday life and so the participant shouldn't be exposed to any risks that are greater or additional to those that they have in normal everyday life next we have informed consent we've all signed these before its forms in which the researchers are going to describe the procedures the risks the purpose of the experiment the benefits of the research the length of time the person has to participate emergency contact things like that and even if it is a child or an infant participating in research than their parents have to be informed and give their consent next what we're gonna see is that psychological research occasionally involves deception but in order for the research to involve deception the deception has to be justified so what does this mean deception deception is when researchers withhold information or intentionally misinformed participants so a quick example of that is an experiment we'll talk about later this year called the Milgram experiment in which the participants believed they were administering a series of shocks to other participants in the study when in reality it wasn't they weren't actually administering shocks but they believed they were so they were deceived to think that they had been administering shocks but in order for deception to occur it must be as little as possible and it must not cause the participant distress now you might be wondering why do we need to deceive people in research sometimes it's necessary to avoid participants thinking that they know what the researcher is looking for and we'll get into this next week when we look at problems in research but after the study if participant if deception did take place then participants have to be debriefed which is going to be one of our later points so another ethical guideline so investigator has to debrief the participants you might be wondering what this means the participants have to be told what the researchers were looking for and why they have to know what part they played in the experiment if they were deceived in the experiment then they have to be told that they were deceived and then told why they were deceived and then the participants have the opportunity to ask any questions of the researchers at all and the researchers are expected to open answer honestly and openly next the participants have the right to withdraw from the study at any time so whether maybe it's causing them too much distress or maybe they're bored or maybe they don't have time for the study those are all examples of reasons why people might withdraw and people also have the opportunity to withdraw after the study so they can withdraw the data that their participation provided next in reference to the data data has to remain confidential and so let's say an individual case study was performed then they would use false names but more commonly than not they actually report group results so that one individual can't be identified all right so we learned in our definition of psychology that psychology is this study of behavior and mental processes and we learned that psychology studies humans as well as animals and so in studying animals we have to also consider why why does psychology need to study animals but then also look at what our ethical guidelines in place to protect animals animal participants so the question we're gonna look at is why is it beneficial to study animals so one is because animals have shorter lifespans than humans it's easier to look at the long-term effects of let's say medication diseases things like that also it's a lot easier to control variables related to animals so researchers can easily control what these animals eat where they're living they can clone them and things like that or excuse me so modify the genetics to determine how related the animals are to each other and things like that and also because animals lead much simpler lifestyles and do a lot less complex behaviors it's a lot easier to see the effects of the variables that the researchers are manipulating whereas for us as humans there are a lot of external factors that could have played a role as opposed to just the one variable that was manipulated next animals are used in ways that people can never be used so experiments that can be formed performed on animals it would be unethical to perform on humans and with animal research it has enabled us to develop vaccines another specific example is insulin treatment for diabetes and learning about how to perform transplants and in general the use of animals and research is widely debated it's very complex but rechart researchers continue to use animals because they believe that the benefits to humans outweigh the hazards to which the animals are exposed so what are the ethical standards that protect the study of animals so what we're going to see is the goal the underlying ethical guideline and studying animals is that they would avoid exposing animals to unnecessary pain or suffering so for example if some type of surgery is necessary then it has to be done under anesthesia for an animal also if let's say they had to study the effects of the drug on an animal and they knew that it was going to kill the animal then it has to be done in a humane way so that is all in our study of the ethics of animals tomorrow we're going to be looking at some different scenarios and you're going to be deciding if they do meet these ethical criteria or not you

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