SOC234 2017 Lab11 – Thu 330

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  #Thu330

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13 Comments

  1. Habibis explained that the key principles of ethical research are about protecting participants. They include “informed consent, anonymity, confidentiality and protection from harm” (2013 p.95).

    Social researchers do not always have the resources to conduct labour intensive, time-consuming, big budget studies. In a world where ethics was not a concern, they would use whichever method they felt was most appropriate for gathering data that will answer their research question quickly and at low cost. Being in the business of knowledge production, they also want to be able to share the results freely and widely. While these scenarios may be ideal for researchers, they are competing with the needs of study participants (Habibis 2013 p. 74). The production of new social knowledge should not compromise participants’ health, wellbeing and safety, and so this is where ethics come into play. The likely benefits should outweigh the harms (Hunter 2014).

    Researchers have control over how studies are conducted, so they have a responsibility to consider harm minimisation when designing them (Habibis 2013 p. 94). Extra care and sensitivity needs to be taken when conducting research with vulnerable groups, such as children, prisoners or Indigenous people (Habibis 2013 p. 85).

    Participation should be “voluntary and without coercion, with the right to withdraw at any time” (Habibis 2013 pp. 75-76). Participants’ informed consent can be obtained by providing an information sheet that explains “the purpose, benefit to participants, why they have been selected for involvement, what participation involves, the risks, privacy assurance through data de-identification, the right to withdraw, and contact information for the researcher” (Habibis 2013 pp.79-80). Facebook’s emotional manipulation study was criticised because while they had consent, it was not technically informed consent as participants had not been told exactly what participation involved, what the risks were or how their data would be used (Hunter 2014).

    It is unlikely that the Facebook study would have been given approval to run by a Human Research Ethics Committee, which is a requirement for social research undertaken In Australia (Habibis 2013 p.76).

    It is also important for researchers to report findings truthfully (Habibis 2013 p. 87-88).

    #S234UOW17 #Lab11 #Thu330

    References
    Habibis, D 2013, ‘Ethics and Social Research’, Chapter 4 in Walter, Maggie (ed.) (2013) Social Research Methods: An Australian Perspective, Melbourne: Oxford University Press, pp. 72-96

    Hunter, D 2014, ‘Consent and ethics in Facebook’s manipulation study’, The Conversation, 1 July 2014, http://theconversation.com/consent-and-ethics-in-facebooks-emotional-manipulation-study-28596

  2. Ethics are moral stands which govern behaviours (Habibis 2013) and are central to research (Patulny 2017). Continuing, ethical research standards aim to minimise the mistreatment of participants while simultaneously maximising the information collected.

    The key principles which govern ethical research are: informed consent, anonymity, confidentiality and protection from harm (Habibis 2013). Informed consent involves communicating to research participants all aspects of the proposed research as well as how the research will be conducted (Habibis 2013; Patulny 2017). Anonymity protects participants from identification within the research (Habibis 2013), while confidentiality ensure all information provided is not traceable to the participant (Habibis 2013). Special care must be taken when researching vulnerable groups, as they may be more susceptible to issues (Habibis 2013). These key principles safeguard participants from maltreatment and allow for safe and ethical research to be carried out.

    Challenges arise within ethical research as often there is a conflict between the needs of the researcher and the particpants (Patulny 2017). The researcher needs fast and inexpensive data, with a wide selection of research methods and free use of findings (Patulny 2017). Whereas participants need protection from exploitations, rights to withdraw, confidentiality and control over their information (Patulny 2017). This ‘conflict’ requires a compromised situation to be constructed within research settings.

    References:
    Habibis, D 2013, ‘Ethics and Social Research’, Chapter 4 in Walter, Maggie (ed.), Social Research Methods: An Australian Perspective, Melbourne: Oxford University Press, pp. 72-96.
    Patulny, R 2017, ‘Research Ethics’ Lecture Slides, SOC234, University of Wollongong, viewed 17 October 2017.

  3. Ethics are important and apply to all forms of research. In the simplest sense, research ethics aims for researchers to abide by norms that discriminate between acceptable and intolerable behaviors, on various levels (moral, federal, etc.).

    Ethical principles relating to human experimentation are clearly defined and listed by the Nuremburg Code. Among other things, the Code requires voluntary consent of participants, research results that benefit society, and previous experimentation on animals (Patulny 2017). Informed consent is also important, basically meaning that participants are accurately told about the context of the research and what they’ll specifically participating in (Patulny 2017). It is fairly clear that the primary aim here is to maximize useful results while avoiding mistreatment of whatever participants are being used. Nevertheless, ethical guidelines do extend to a certain but lesser extent to animals. These guidelines are prevalent in several developed countries, like Australia and the United States.

    Researchers subsequently face challenges. Some of the primary challenges that arise are between the researchers and the participants needs (Patulny 2017). While the researchers need quick and accessible information, they need to adhere to restricting guidlines while also keeping in mind that participants have a right to leave the experiment at will and withdraw any information (Patulny 2017). This is where compromises are made to benefit both parties. Another primary issue arises when researchers have to avoid taking advantage of vulnerable groups, as in those people that are possibly unable to protect their own rights (Pittaway et. al 2010).

    References:
    Patulny, R 2017, ‘Research Ethics’ Lecture Slides, SOC234, University of Wollongong, viewed 17 October 2017.
    Pittaway, E., Bartolomei, L., & Hugman, R. (2010). Stop Stealing Our Stories: The Ethics of Research with Vulnerable Groups. Journal of Human Rights Practice, 2(2), 229–251. http://doi.org/10.1093/jhuman/huq004

  4. Ethics is defined in the Oxford Dictionary as, “Moral principles that govern a person’s behaviour or the conducting of an activity” (Oxford Dictionaries 2017). In this sense, ethical research aims to ensure standards of principles are upheld whilst conducting human research. As noted by Marc, the Nuremburg Code of 1947 is a highly influential document that established much of the standards and practices governing ethical research today.
    As stated by Habibis, “The principles most concerned with the protection of participants are the principles of informed consent, anonymity, confidentiality, and protection from harm (2013, p. 95). Ensuring the consent of participants and their voluntary participation of the research requires the presentation of a detailed information and consent form in which all details should be covered in clear communication (Patulny 2017). Anonymity refers to, “The protection of respondents from identification as participants in the research” (Habibis 2013, p. 82), with the topic of confidentiality ensuring that, “the specific contribution of individuals cannot be identified” (2013, p. 82).
    In conducting ethical research, numerous challenges often arise. Perhaps the most common is when the needs of the researcher and participant(s) clash, thus creating a conflict of interest. This can take several forms such as the need of the researcher for inexpensive and fast data collection whereas the participants retain the rights to withdraw data and refuse questions (Patulny 2017). Another significant challenge for researchers is ensuring that vulnerable groups are treated with extra sensitivity and care.

    References
    Habibis, D 2013, ‘Ethics and Social Research’, Chapter 4 in Walter, Maggie (ed.), Social Research Methods: An Australian Perspective, Melbourne: Oxford University Press, pp. 72-96.
    Oxford Dictionaries | English. (2017). ethics | Definition of ethics in English by Oxford Dictionaries. [online] Available at: https://en.oxforddictionaries.com/definition/ethics [Accessed 16 Oct. 2017].
    Patulny, R 2017, ‘Research Ethics’ Lecture Slides, SOC234, University of Wollongong, viewed 17 October 2017.

    #S234UOW17 #Lab11 #Thu330

  5. Ethical (social) research is based on the maintenance of the relationship between researchers and research participants – “the ground on which human research is conducted” (Habibis 2013, p. 78). Particularly, a trustful, responsible, and equal connection is built, by following four values as set out by NHMRC (2007, cited in Habibis 2013, pp. 77-78). These are: research merit and integrity, justice, beneficence, and above all, respect for human beings shown through four key principles – Informed consent, anonymity, confidentiality, and protection from harm.

    Informed consent, unlike unethically assumed by Facebook to simply be a click on the “Agree” button without ever reading every terms and conditions (Patulny 2017), means the participants’ awareness of how the collected data would be used. Although the norms are oral/written forms, some social researchers are developing “visual informed consent” (Lie & Witteveen 2017, p. 63) to more efficiently ensure participants’ understanding of the research, including their rights and responsibilities.

    Anonymity and confidentiality work together to guarantee the privacy of participants, specifically by protecting them from identification (Habibis 2013, p. 82) – leaving out details belonging to the “seven dimensions of identity knowledge” e.g. legal name/pseudonym or locatability (Novak 2014, p. 37) – and by preventing them to be recognised from the information they give – i.e. limiting access to subjects’ information (‘Simplifying the Complexity of Confidentiality in Research’ 2015, p. 100). Additionally, participants must be protected from mental/physical harm at all costs.

    Ethical research, however, poses the challenge of conflicts between the interests of researchers and the researched (Habibis 2010, cited in Patulny 2017), the simplest being the disagreement between the researchers’ need for large sets of data without gaps and the respondents’ right to refuse to participate. Fortunately, consequences can be ethically curbed by means like (non-coercively) converting the refusals (Martin & Marker 2007, cited in Patulny 2017).

    Carried out considerately, ethical research, or – as Tilley (1998, p. 317) called it – “respectful research”. will powerfully transform the dynamic relationship between researchers and the people with whom they working, turning the researcher from an outside into “someone familiar”.

    References:

    Habibis, D 2013, ‘Chapter 4 – Ethics and Social Research’ in M Walter (ed.), Social Research Methods, 3rd edn, Oxford University Press, South Melbourne, pp. 72-98.

    Lie, R & Witteveen, L 2017, ‘Visual informed consent: informed consent without forms’, International Journal of Social Research Methodology, vol.20, no. 1, pp. 63-75.

    Novak, A 2014, ‘Anonymity, Confidentiality, Privacy, and Identity: The Ties That Bind and Break in Communication Research’, The Review of Communication, vol. 14, no. 1, pp. 36–48.

    Patulny, R 2017, ‘Research Ethics’ Lecture Slides, SOC234, University of Wollongong, viewed 17 October 2017.

    ‘Simplifying the Complexity of Confidentiality in Research’ 2015, Journal of Empirical Research on Human Research Ethics, vol. 10, no. 1, pp. 100-102.

    Tilley, SA 1998, ‘Conducting Respectful Research: A Critique of Practice’, Canadian Journal of Education, vol. 23, no. 3, pp. 316-328.

    #S234UOW17 #Lab11 #Thu330

  6. In every research, the most basic things that needs to be covered is ethics. It is the most important factor in the research to consider since it might bring negative consequences to the researcher, participant and to the society. Therefore, every researcher should know the key principles of ethics while conducting a research.

    There are multiple key principles that researchers need to consider while conducting a research. Firstly, researcher should consider the safety of both participants and the researcher (Patulny 2017; Habibis 2013). There can be severe consequences when not considering the safety of the participants and any other social group that are involved in the research. One of the example is a research conducted in Stanford University. The well-known experiment called Stanford prison experiment has brought consequences that might bring harm to the participants. Physical along with psychological harm was rising through the experiment and eventually pulled after 6 days since it was considered that the participants can be harmed (Patulny 2017). This shows that safety should be consider in the beginning of the research and be cautious with any situation that might bring harm to all of the participants in the research. Secondly, informed consents are important to be considered in the research. Informed consent should be made through a document or agreement to ensure that research respondents are fully informed about what the research is about and that they make the decision to participate without any formal or informal coercion (Habibis 2013, p. 77). These are the two main key principles to be considered along with many other principles that needs to be covered.

    Still there are some challenges along with considering research ethics in the research. There are conflicts of interest between the researcher and researched. Researcher are willing to collect data fast with high response rate, no missing data, and freedom to interpret the data as the researcher’s wish. However, ethical concerns are playing a role in this need of interest (Patulny 2017). Therefore, when researcher is obtaining data from the research, they should be balanced in conducting and interpreting their data.

    Reference List
    Habibis, D 2013, ‘Chapter 4 – Ethics and Social Research’ in M Walter (ed.), Social Research Methods, 3rd edn, Oxford University Press, South Melbourne, pp. 72-98.

    Patulny, R 2017, ‘Research Ethics’ Lecture Slides, SOC234, University of Wollongong, viewed 17 October 2017.

    #S234UOW17 #Tut11 #Thur1530

  7. #S234UOW17 #Thu330

    Warning, this post touches on ethical concerns regarding suicide research and may be triggering for some readers, please seek help or don’t read this post if you are having difficulties.
    When it comes to ethics there is much debate over what is valid or appropriate for the situation, indicating there is no consensus as to how one becomes ethical. When it comes to research there are a number of underlying principles and challenges researches must consider. The primary ethical principle of social research “Do No Harm”, Habibis (2013, p 105-106) points out that safety must be taken into consideration when conducting social research, not only of the participants but also the researcher as well. However, there is one main challenge we face when it comes to the discussion of harming participants for results, this comes in form of the platitude “the ends justify the means” meaning that if the research will result in a fundamental change to our understanding we should undertake the research regardless of the ethical concerns. Take for instance the study of suicide, if it were possible to pivotally change our understanding of this phenomena is it ethical to conduct potentially harmful research if the result fundamentally changes our understanding. Côté, Piff and Willer (2013) identity that when it comes to ethical decisions class plays a significant role in the ends justifying the means approach, in that the upper classes were more likely to take an approach to ethical decision making that supports the ends justifying the means approach. This indicates that class plays a role in the ethical consideration for research in that, if an ethical review board is comprised of entirely upper-class members class may play a role in the approval or denial of such research.

    References
    Habibis, D (2013) ‘Ethics and Social Research’, Chapter 4 in Walter, Maggie (ed.). (2013). Social Research Methods. 3rd Edition. South Melbourne: Oxford University Press, p72-98

    Côté, S., Piff, P. and Willer, R. (2013). For whom do the ends justify the means? Social class and utilitarian moral judgment. Journal of Personality and Social Psychology, 104(3), pp.490-503.

  8. Ethical practises in social research is important when conducting research as it provides guidelines based upon values and ideas that provide the basis of collecting data. A challenge faced by all social researchers when collecting data is assessing how it will be done and whether or not the way that they aim to collect data is deemed ethical.

    All research that is conducted is subject to an ethical review in order to prevent deceptive tactics such covert research in which respondents are unaware of their participation in the research, also ethical reviews the negligible research risk in order to determine whether it poses no threat (Habibis 2013). Ethics is also a set of guidelines designed to protect the participants as well as the researcher, things such as informed consent as well as anonymity of participants sometimes when composing a research report is necessary for all research especially if it is on a sensitive topic such as indigenous issues, also ethics can help prevent plagiarism though acknowledgement of other individuals work(Habibis 2013).

    Habibis, D 2013, ‘Chapter 4 – Ethics and Social Research’ in M Walter (ed.), Social Research Methods, 3rd edn, Oxford University Press, South Melbourne, pp. 72-98

  9. Ethical practises in social research is important when conducting research as it provides guidelines based upon values and ideas that provide the basis of collecting data. A challenge faced by all social researchers when collecting data is assessing how it will be done and whether or not the way that they aim to collect data is deemed ethical.

    All research that is conducted is subject to an ethical review in order to prevent deceptive tactics such covert research in which respondents are unaware of their participation in the research, also ethical reviews the negligible research risk in order to determine whether it poses no threat (Habibis 2013). Ethics is also a set of guidelines designed to protect the participants as well as the researcher, things such as informed consent as well as anonymity of participants sometimes when composing a research report is necessary for all research especially if it is on a sensitive topic such as indigenous issues, also ethics can help prevent plagiarism though acknowledgement of other individuals work(Habibis 2013

    Habibis, D 2013, ‘Chapter 4 – Ethics and Social Research’ in M Walter (ed.), Social Research Methods, 3rd edn, Oxford University Press, South Melbourne, pp. 72-98

    #S234UOW17 #Tut11 #Thur1530

  10. What are the key principles and challenges of ethical research?
    Research ethics is fundamentally the precautions taken when planning, conducting and reporting on research (Habibis, 2013). There are guidelines for both, research on humans and animals.

    The key principles when discussing ethical consideration include, “informed consent, anonymity, confidentiality and protection from harm” (Habibis, p.95, 2013). This provides a generalised framework in which particular ethical dilemmas may be analysed. These need to be followed when conducting ethical research for the safety and protection of the individuals who partake in the research.

    These principles need to be abided by in order to minimise risk for participants (Patulny, 2017). This potentially poses challenges for the research as it makes the information harder to obtain. When analysing ethical research, it becomes evident that there is a significant difference between what the researcher and the participant aim to achieve (Habibis, 2013). The researcher wants information, whilst the participant wants protections. These two things can contradict each other providing a challenge for the researcher to overcome. The researcher will often need to compromise to obtain information legally. However, these guidelines for ethical research are subject to change. There is different rules and regulations around ethical research in various countries and it also varies for research conducted with animals.
    S234UOW17 #Lab11 #Thurs330

    References
    • Habibis, D 2013, ‘Ethics and Social Research’, Chapter 4 in Walter, Maggie (ed.), Social Research Methods: An Australian Perspective, Melbourne: Oxford University Press, pp. 72-96.
    • Patulny, R 2017, ‘Research Ethics’ Lecture Slides, SOC234, University of Wollongong, viewed 17 October 2017.

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

    The key principles of ethical research are consent, privacy, confidentiality and anonymity. When discussing the principles of consent, there is a few key points needed to be adhered to, such as voluntary consent, as well as the confirmation that no experiment will cause harm physically, mentally or emotionally and that if the subject is distraught there should be a way out of the experiment. Other principles are that risks should not exceed the importance of the research and should not be done by anyone other than a qualified person.

    The challenges of ethical research, especially when doing research through the internet, are participation and data transmission. According to Nosek and Banaji, audience participation can sometimes be interrupted and lost if a participant leaves the research experiment or the information does not get saved, research data is lost (Nosek. The same goes to data transmission. If data is lost in the process of being transported from participant to researcher, there is an entire piece of evidence gone. There is also the risk of the data being intercepted by a third party and then changed, causing the research to become tampered, and if personal demographic data is placed in the research, the confidentiality of the individual is compromised.

    Nosek Brian A & Banaji Mahzarin R, “E-Research: Ethics, Security, Design, and Control in Psychological Research on the Internet” in Journal of Social Issues, Vo 58, No. 1, 2002. Pp. 161-176

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  12. The first and foremost step in social research is establishing an ethical research design. Ethics are crucial in ensuring that the researchers experiment and findings are considered ‘trustworthy and valid’ (The Ethics of Social Research, p. 49).
    As discussed in a lecture by Roger Patulny (2017), the key principles of ethical research can be identified within the Nuremeberg Code. The code gives directions on how to go about human experimentation in a safe and ethical manner, it includes things such as voluntary consent, avoiding all unnecessary physical/mental harm and no experiment should risk disability or death. These may seem like things to consider before conducting an experiment; however there have been cases in the past where such things weren’t considered so deeply.
    For example, the famous Milgram experiment, which was conducted in the 1960’s, raised many concerns when the researcher went against many ethical guidelines to see how willing participants were to obey an authoritative figure. Deception was used as participants were not informed of the true nature of the experiment, whilst the experiment took place there was obvious signs of the participants feeling emotion and mental distress, however the ‘authoritative figure’ made it very difficult for them to leave the experiment (Shuttleworth, 2017). These are just a few ethical concerns that arose from Milgram’s experiment.
    Although the Milgram experiment would not be conducted in modern society, the findings of the experiment concerning the human condition are still being employed in social research today.

    Reference List –

    Patulny, R 2017, ‘Research Ethics’ Lecture Slides, SOC234, University of Wollongong, viewed 17 October 2017

    Ritchie, J Lweis, J Nicholls, C & Ormston, R 2014, ‘The Ethics of Social Research’, Qualitative Research Practice, p. 59-89, viewed 17 October 2017

    Shuttleworth, M 2017, ‘Milgram Experiment Ethics’, Explorable, weblog post, viewed 17 November

  13. #S234UOW17 #Lab11 #Thu330
    The key principals of ethical research are basically to minimise risks and do no harm to those who are being researched. To Maintain privacy of participants at all times, both during and after the research is conducted. Another key principal behind research ethics is to handle only participants who’ve undertaken a process of informed consent to research activities (Habibis, 2013). This includes passing all potential participants through selective criteria to identify an individual’s suitability for the research at hand. Here I do agree with Mia, when she suggests that adhering to ethical research creates disagreement between the researchers’ needs and those being researched’s needs.
    From there, in regards to informed consent, research information being passed onto participants can prove to be a confounding factor within a study (Patulny, 2017). Achieving accurate data outcomes is not possible when awareness biases, confirmation biases or conformity is present. This and other challenges such as debriefing and the opportunity to opt-out can be difficult to facilitate, such as within the Facebook.com study (Hunter, 2014). For these reasons there exists a ‘not necessarily unethical’ area within research studies which unfortunately is necessary for some research to take place.

    References:
    Habibis, D. 2013. ‘Ethics and Social Research’, Chapter 4 in Walter, Maggie (ed.) (2013) Social Research Methods: An Australian Perspective, Melbourne: Oxford University Press, pp. 72-96.
    Hunter, D. 2014. ‘Consent and ethics in Facebook’s manipulation study’, The Conversation.
    Patulny, R. 2017. ‘Research Ethics’ Lecture Slides, SOC234, University of Wollongong.

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