SOC234 2018 Lab11 – Batemans Bay

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.

#S234UOW18  #Lab11  #Bbay

Posted in SOC234 - Social Research methods, UOW.

5 Comments on SOC234 2018 Lab11 – Batemans Bay

Lachlan Macdonald said : Guest Report 8 months ago

Ethical research is important since what it is supposed to do is to protect the people that are being researched which means making sure that their identities are protected along with making sure that the person feel safe and that they only to discuss what they feel comfortable with and not to force them to do or say anything they don’t want to mention. This is also included with making sure that the data that is obtained has a purpose and is truthful. In relation to protecting people it is important since it can be that the people being researched are either children, or have had some form of traumatic experience. This is important due to power relations between the researcher and the participant as can be seen in Stanford Prison experiment where the guards became abusive and de humanised the prisoner. This can be seen if ethics are not used when doing studies it can result into something like what occurred during the experiment. It is important with data that is truthful and has purpose since it can effect the results of the research but it can also have an impact on the people involved. This is done through the removal of their anonymity or th people did not give consent for their information to be shared or given an chance to opt out of the research if they do not like it going the way it is going etc. These are examples of the Nuremberg code, this is important to follow so that you do not do anything wrong in the course of experimentation to protect the people and yourself from any harm.

Michael Clark said : Guest Report 8 months ago

The key principles of ethics in research are outlined by the Nuremberg Code as stated in the week 12 lecture for SOC234. The code gives directives on how research should be produced in a manner that minimises risk and limits the potential of physical or psychological harm. The harm could come in the form of questions, a breach of privacy or targeting groups considered to be at risk, for example; children, Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander People and disabled people to name a few. In order to minimise the risk, it is good practice to ensure that informed consent is produced. Informed consent ensures that the participant is informed, aware that there is absence of duress, and agrees to the study. This information should be explained on an information sheet detailing all the factors around the study including the option to refuse further participation in the study if they wish to do so. Whilst this is uncommon in quantitative research, it should always be considered. Breaches in such principles are outlined in the essential reading for week 11 by Hunter on Facebooks lack of consideration when filtering either positive or negative posts in the subjects Facebook feed. This study was conducted without the user’s knowledge and could have potentially led to harm of the Facebook users. One researcher involved in the study stated that “In hindsight, the research benefits of the paper may not have justified all of this anxiety.” This directly conflicts with many of the Nuremberg codes including, voluntary consent, avoid all unnecessary physical/mental injury and should only be conducted by suitably qualified persons, without naming all of them.

Amanda Ghattas said : Guest Report 8 months ago

One key principle of ethical research is informed consent; that is, the participant must be made very clearly aware of what the study is about and that they may withdraw their participation and data at any time, and they must not be pressured into participating (Walter 2013, p. 77). Although a study may prove to be a huge contribution to a particular social issue, failing to secure informed consent may put the people studied into a position where they were not aware that they were being studied and for what purpose their information might be used, along with being unable to withdraw from the study due to never even agreeing to participate. If their private information is then released, even under confidentiality and anonymity, it may lead to these involuntary participants being identified and suffering negative consequences that may have been avoided by not contributing this information (such as being outed against their will in an unfriendly area). This also functions as a key challenge. To ensure informed consent, participants must be made very clearly aware of what this entails, and so work and resources must be dedicated to giving clear information and ensuring that both researcher and participant have the same understanding before this research can even begin. This is also an issue when participants are under 18 and parents consent to their child’s participation, but the child does not, or vice versa. In this situation, the researcher must consider who holds the power of informed consent to avoid breaching this ethical necessity (Astra Nova 2016).

Michelle Claude said : Guest Report 8 months ago

They key principles of ethical research, relate to gaining relevant information, without causing harm or negatively impacting the research subjects. In today’s online community the boundary of ethical researched is harvested for the interest of commercial marketing. This can be detrimental to the research subjects, contradicting the key principles of ethical research. Traditionally, research subjects were able to terminate interviews that were causing a disturbance to them or affecting their mental health. Face to face methods, being in-depth interviews or focus groups were used. This provided a relationship between the researcher and the researched subject, allowing the interview to be terminated if the key principles were challenged. Because of this relationship, ethical principles were easily maintained by the researcher. Today’s world of social media challenges this concept. Digital data collection does not allow an equal relationship between the researcher and researched. Therefore, the researched person has less ability to action their rights or concerns. If the subject is disturbed by something or is suffering harm, the researcher is not able to terminate the interview as they are not there in person to do so. Another ethical principle that is challenged from social media is consent. Traditional research methods allow the researcher to monitor the legibility of consent given by the research subject. In social media situations the researcher is not personally asking for consent. Consent is given without being monitored. Therefore, they do not know if the research subject understands what they are consenting to. This breakdown has created a marketing loophole for commercial profitability. Facebook uses this form of marketing for profitability. Users of Facebook have their data monitored for market research. They receive manipulated data feeds according to the findings of their data collection. The sociological concern about this loophole, is the subject’s lack of knowledge about their manipulated data feed. What they often view is not what they think they are viewing. The researcher also does not know they are breaching ethical principles if the subject is harmed, physically or mentally because of their manipulated feed. # S234UOW18 #Lab11 # BBay

Rhonelle South said : Guest Report 8 months ago

‘Do no harm’, the key ethical principle that lies at the heart of conducting social research involving people with a disability. The importance of standards such as The National Statement on Ethical conduct in Human research (2007) is never more important than when they are applied to vulnerable people. Cases that have failed to comply, including the Willowbrook study involving children with intellectual disabilities, demonstrates the challenges and complexities of conducting research that involves individuals with limited cognitive ability, or power to provide informed consent (Iacono 2006). This case, and others like it, continue to influence decisions made by ethics committees regarding proposed research. The principles of ethical research underpin research approval, seeking to minimise the likelihood of harm and abuse occurring if principles are not upheld due to an unequal balance of power, or the concept of doing greater good (Fansiwala 2016; Iacono 2006). The challenges of conducting ethical research with people who have an intellectual disability or learning difficulty are complex, ensuring they have understood their rights to voluntary participation and the right to withdraw at any point can raise ethical issues if you cannot comprehend their responses or they cannot provide consent. Minimising risks to safety, including physical harm caused by violent or unexpected behaviours, or mental harm from confusion or overstimulation caused by the context of questions or the physical environment pose unique issues. Accurate interpretation of information without bias or conjecture and free from coercion require the researcher to practice reflexivity throughout the research process. Developing a sound knowledge of key principles and challenges of ethical research underpin social science research. #SOC234UOW18 #BBay References: Fansiwala, K 2016, ‘The Duality of Medicine: The Willowbrook State School Experiments’, accessed 20/05/2018, National Health and Medical Research Council 2018, National Statement on Ethical Conduct in Human Research (2007) – Updated May 2015, accessed 20/05/2018, Iacono, T 2009, ‘Ethical challenges and complexities of including people with intellectual disability as participants in research’, Journal of Intellectual & Developmental Disability, vol. 31, no. 3, pp 173-179, accessed 20/02/2018,

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