SOC234 2017 Lab11 – Shoalhaven

Dear SOC234 Lab,

Please respond to the following question with a reply-post of no more than 250 words:

‘What are the key principles and challenges of ethical research?”

Remember that you will need to post your reply before Lab 11, and don’t forget to look at both the instructions for Tweeting and Blogging and the Lab and Lecture Guide, both up on Moodle.

Thanks and good luck, Roger.

#S234UOW17  #Lab11  #Shoal

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8 Comments

  1. When conducting research involving humans, and given the power imbalance between researcher and participants, it is imperative that the researcher employs ethical principles and values (ed. Walter 2010, p.116). General guidance is provided by instruments like the Nuremberg Code and the National Statement on Ethical Conduct in Research Involving Humans, but consideration must be given to the methodology with qualitative research giving rise to more ethical considerations than quantitative research, organisational requirements, and the population groups, e.g. Indigenous participants and vulnerable groups (ed. Walter 2010, p. 105-6).

    Key principles of ethics ensure successful and minimal risk research and include the research doing no harm; participants being informed, consenting voluntarily without coercion and receiving an information sheet and consent form; privacy, confidentially and anonymity being addressed and conflicts of interests considered (Patulny 2017).

    Challenges include; lack of planning resulting in harm, (e.g. the Stanford Prison Experiment 1971); ensuring that there is some value in the research, resulting in a meaningful outcome (e.g. results from domestic violence research which may cause participants some distress should be used to inform policy); identifying and communicating appropriately with vulnerable population groups (e.g. ensuring intellectually disabled adults understand the research) and diverse cultural groups (e.g. cross-cultural miscommunication); ensuring values of funding organisations do not impact results (e.g. research conducted by the “no” vote may state that it is damaging for children to have anything other than a man and a woman as parents).
    #S234UOW17 #Lab1 #Shoal

    Walter, M (ed.) 2010, Social Research Methods, 2nd edn, Oxford University Press, South Melbourne.

    Patulny, R 2017, “Research Ethics” PowerPoint slides, SOC234, University of Wollongong, viewed 14 October 2017.

  2. Before funding, the Human Research Ethics Committee must approve of any research involving human participants. This is to ensure that every step of the research process is guided by ethical standards and principles put in place to protect the participant’s rights (Habibis 2013). The key principles in which researchers must follow are outlined by the Nuremburg Code and the National Statement on Ethical Conduct in Research Involving Humans.

    The Nuremberg Code states that participants should never experience any physical or psychological harm, should avoid risks involving disability or death, and are able to withdraw from the experiment any time the participant wishes. It is also essential that before participants become involved in any social research, the researcher must outline the purpose of the study, method, and any potential risks and benefits the study may present. The researchers should not use any deceptive practices and must have the participants voluntary consent (written or oral). The National Statement on Ethical Conduct in Research involving Humans propose four key values: merit and integrity, justice, beneficence, and respect for human beings. This further gives anonymity and confidentiality to all participants (Habibis 2013).

    However, ethical research also presents challenges involving conflicts of interest between the researcher and the participants, as well as vulnerable groups (e.g. children and mentally ill patients). For example, getting an informed consent from a mentally ill patient may be challenging, as they may not understand what they are being ask to participate in due to the medication they take (Habibis 2013).

    #S234UOW17 #Lab11 #Shoal

    Habibis, D 2013, ‘Ethics and Social Research’, in M Walter (ed.), Social Research Methods, 3rd edn, Oxford University Press, South Melbourne, pp. 72-98.

  3. The Ethics committee is a committee set up in order to look over the plans for people and groups research, and make sure their research plan follows ethical procedures. once the committee has passed a persons research plan they are given funds to begin their study.

    Ethical principles include: Nuremberg code, which is largely concerned with making sure Research is humane and doesn’t harm the participants in any way. Harm can include, mental harm, as well as emotional and physical harm. Some examples of Nuremberg guidelines include:

    1. Voluntary Consent – a person should not be coerced in any way into participating in a study. this can be done online, through the post, face to face or over the phone.
    2. Avoiding all unnecessary injury.

    Challenges of Ethical research include:

    Results good for society – this means you cant do research for your self of personal gain, the research proposed must be beneficial for Society as a whole.

    The Research and Researched have completely different needs and requirements (Habibis 2010):

    The researcher wants a large amounts of partiucipants, but the researched have the right to refuse to participate

    the research wants to use all his findings, but the researched want to remain anonymous

    Consenting: What the Participant is agreeing too must be 100% known to them, and they must agree to it.

  4. The Ethics committee is a committee set up in order to look over the plans for people and groups research, and make sure their research plan follows ethical procedures. once the committee has passed a persons research plan they are given funds to begin their study.

    Ethical principles include: Nuremberg code, which is largely concerned with making sure Research is humane and doesn’t harm the participants in any way. Harm can include, mental harm, as well as emotional and physical harm. Some examples of Nuremberg guidelines include:

    1. Voluntary Consent – a person should not be coerced in any way into participating in a study. this can be done online, through the post, face to face or over the phone.
    2. Avoiding all unnecessary injury.

    Challenges of Ethical research include:

    Results good for society – this means you cant do research for your self of personal gain, the research proposed must be beneficial for Society as a whole.

    The Research and Researched have completely different needs and requirements (Habibis 2010):

    The researcher wants a large amounts of partiucipants, but the researched have the right to refuse to participate

    the research wants to use all his findings, but the researched want to remain anonymous

    Consenting: What the Participant is agreeing too must be 100% known to them, and they must agree to it.

    Lack of planning your research can potentially lead to harm, a good example of this is the Stanford Prison Experiment.

    #S234UOW17 #Lab11 #Shoal

  5. Ethical research is understanding the morally just actions to take when undertaking research and checking these actions through a process of knowing what your research is going to involve, writing it down and getting a body of experts to assess your plan of action. Habibis explains ethical research as “ensuring that ethical principles and values always govern research involving humans”, and these principles include protection of participants, informed consent, confidentiality, and protection from harm (Habibis, 2013). Voluntary consent is an understanding, from everybody that is involved in the research, of what the research is about and what being a participant will involve and from this understanding a willingness from everybody involved to take part in the research, this cannot be done through coercive behaviour involving clear and simple communication throughout this process and the research. Confidentiality is not allowing any of the respondents in the research to be identified under this is complete anonymity where not even the individual conducting the research knows the true name of the respondents, this extends to storing the information retrieved and maintaining confidentiality through the use of identification numbers rather than names. Protection from harm is the assurance that there will be no risk of physical or mental harm whatsoever throughout the research process, all of the principles aim to protect the participants.
    The process of conducting ethical research becomes difficult in a compliance with all the key ethical principles. In particular do no harm becomes an important challenge as this aspect is very specific in no harm coming to the participants of the study whatsoever, however, within this is the term minimum risk, that is risk should never exceed humanitarian importance of research. Although there are specific ethical guidelines within the Nuremberg code that say there should be no risk of disability or death and no physical or mental injury, risk verses humanitarian importance of research creates a challenge. If this risk outweighs the benefits that the research will have on society, then this rick becomes okay. Although this challenge becomes overcome through the awareness of the participants of the risks involved in the research.
    Habibis, D 2013, ‘Ethics and Social Research’, Chapter 4 in Walter, Maggie (ed.) 2013, Social Research Methods, 3rd Edition, South Melbourne, Oxford University Press

  6. What are the key principles and challenges of ethical research

    The Researchers use the participants with a particular objective in mind (Habibis 2011 p73). It is important in research studies that these people do not get exploited as “Social science places a particular gaze on vulnerable populations” (Habibis 2011 p73). This is where the challenges and principles of ethical research need to be used.

    A major step in identifying the challenges of ethical research is assessing potential negative impacts on the participants, not from the researcher’s viewpoint, but from the participants viewpoint. When this is achieved, the risk of harm is greatly reduced.

    The key principles of ethical research are protecting participants from harm, having merit and integrity in the research being conducted this meaning that the research is beneficial to the community. When it is carried out respectfully, the potential negative risks do not out way the benefits to the community. The main key point is that is respect for human beings is carried out, if not, the research should be stopped immediately.

    In the study and experiment conducted by Facebook they manipulated data presented on user’s computer screens. As David Hunter stated, “There are significant ethical failings here regarding our norms of interventional research without consent’. Facebook failed to review the things stated above such as the merits of the research, the benefit to the community of doing the research and the respect for human beings. If these key principles were used, the 689003 users would never have had their computer screens altered (Hunter 2014).

    Habibis, D 2013, ‘Ethics and Social Research’, Chapter 4 in Walter, Maggie (ed.) 2013, Social Research Methods, 3rd Edition, South Melbourne, Oxford University Press

    Hunter, D (2014) “Consent and ethics in Facebook’s manipulation study” The Conversation

    #S234UOW17 #Lab11 #Shoal

  7. The key principles of ethical research is to protect participants, ensure they are not put at risk at any point during the research being conducted, and to conduct meaningful research which will be beneficial rather than conducting research in a field which has already been explored. In order to protect the participants involved in the research, it is essential to receive consent to their involvement in the research, ensuring their privacy being keeping their identity hidden and data provided by the individual confidential, and also making sure the participants understands the research being conducted and any risks involved.

    The challenges of ethical research can include ensuring the research being conducted will be beneficial, participants involved are not going to be triggered by the research being conducted and are fully aware of what the research will consist of, participants are able and understand what they are consenting to when providing consent to participate in the research, etc.

    Patulny, R 2017, “Research Ethics” SOC234, University of Wollongong,.

    #S234UOW17 #Lab11 #Shoal

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