SOC234 2018 Lab11 – Thu 8.30am

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  #Thu830

Posted in SOC234 - Social Research methods, UOW.

7 Comments on SOC234 2018 Lab11 – Thu 8.30am

Karissa Zantiotis said : Guest Report 12 hrs ago

Ethics are seen as what controls and directs sociological research and they encourage an environment of trust, accountability, and mutual respect among researchers. Ethical research has challenges that need to be controlled in order for the research not to breach ethical standards. The key principles of ethics in protecting people are based upon respect for the person, beneficence and justice. It is vital that the respect and privacy of the individual is protected. Sociological research has no meaning if there is no benefit to society, this is the main purpose in undergoing the research. One obstacle of ethical research that could be faced is the knowledge of the researcher and there capabilities in undertaking research. If a researcher had no knowledge regarding ethical considerations then the results will be inaccurate, invalid or unreliable. Another obstacle involves a researcher exploring sensitive issues, the researcher had a responsibility in protecting the participant and ensuring they have a positive experience. If they do not follow the ethical standards above then the participant would not be comfortable and therefore inaccurate or invalid results could be made. Overall the benefit of a study must outweigh the potential risk for participants. The researcher has this responsibility of producing and collecting data in an honest manner and presenting it as worthy to research. Research may seem simple but it is definitely not an easy task to assume. Skilled researchers are needed and they must strictly follow ethical principles otherwise the research is at risk of being unethical and posing harms to its participants. #S234UOW18 #Lab11 #Thu830 References: Walter, Maggie (ed.). 2013. Social Research Methods. 3rd Edition. South Melbourne: Oxford University Press. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=KG9QPGEKChs

Kayla Whitten said : Guest Report 14 hrs ago

Research has not always followed strict ethical protocols. It was not until 1949 when the Nuremberg Code for human experimentation was created as a result of Nazi war crimes, which later formed the basic principles for ethical research (Habibis 2013). Ethical research is when researchers abide by ethical values and principles to ensure participants are protected from any form of harm (Habibis 2013). These decisions are not decided based on their convenience or productiveness, rather the decisions are made based on what is morally right or wrong (Habibis 2013). The National Statement on Ethical Conduct in Research Involving Humans has listed four key principles that research must follow to maintain being ethical (Habibis 2013). These include research merit and integrity – when the outcome of research has potential benefits and is honest and truthful; justice – research involves fair treatment and fair distribution of participants; beneficence – researchers take into account the risks and the benefits of research to participants, are sensitive to the welfare of participants and reflect on the possible social and cultural implications of participants; and, respect for human beings – researchers have regard for the welfare, beliefs, perceptions, customs and cultural heritage of participants involved in research (Habibis 2013, p. 78). Ethical research also has challenges that need to be controlled in order for the research not to breach ethical standards. These include research volunteers, as volunteers can manipulate the research and financial incentives for research participants, as this can be seen as coercion (Habibis 2013). Overall, research is not an easy task. It must involve skilled researchers and strictly follow ethical principles otherwise it risks being unethical and posing harms on participants. #S234UOW18 #Lab11 #Thu830 Reference: Habibis, D 2013, ‘Ethics and Social Research’, in M Walter (ed.), Social Research Methods, 3rd Edition, Oxford University Press, South Melbourne, pp. 73 – 93.

Elizabeth Carter said : Guest Report 2 days ago

Sociological research is governed by ethics as it is a form of human experimentation. The key principles and challenges in the pursuit of ethical research include consideration of the benefit to society, risk minimisation, informed consent and acknowledgement of conflicts of interest (Habibis 2013). Firstly, without a benefit to society there is no purpose in undergoing the research. The purpose of sociological experimentation is that the research will produce a positive outcome for humanity and its future betterment (Walter 2013). Next, the idea of risk in research is a key consideration. The context of risk is encompassing of how studies are performed such as interventions, what questions are asked and what people are recruited for the research. These principles of risk relate to the key challenges of risk minimisation in which safety of participants must be considered relative to the overall benefits of the study (Zimbardo 1973) e.g. The Stanford Prison Experiment neglected risk minimisation with the result of trauma to participants. Another principle is informed consent in the pursuit of transparency (Martin & Marker 2007). This can be obtained as written or verbal consent in which the participants autonomously authorise their conditions of participation in full knowledge of any conflicts of interest (Faden and Baeuchamp 1986). They do this in full awareness of what the study entails and its purpose. This involves an informed decision based on assurances of confidentiality, anonymity and freedom to cease participation which is a developing challenge in internet-based studies where there is a newly-emerging researcher-researched dynamic (Greenwald 2002) e.g. ‘Facebook Emotional Manipulation Study’ (Hunter 2014). #S234UOW18 #Lab11 #Thu830

Maggie Bateman said : Guest Report 3 days ago

Ethical research applies key ethical principles (basic/complex) to guarantee moral standards direct research practice (Habibis, p. 73) and to minimise the chance of tainting research data. The key principles of ethical research include: - Informed and voluntary consent: Ensures participants have an understanding of the purpose, methods, risks and benefits of the research for society, allowing the participants the ability to make a conscious choice to participate. (Habibis pp. 77-79) - Do no harm: Aims to protect participants by ensuring research is either negligible or low-risk (Habibis, p. 77), and considers the integrity, respect, beneficence and justice of the human subjects (NHMRC 2007) - Privacy, confidentiality, and anonymity: Research manages data and data storage in order to ensure the privacy of an individual’s identification and the information they provide, resulting in sound data collection. (Habibis, pp. 82-83) - Research merit, integrity and beneficence: By ensuring the benefits of a study outweigh the potential risk for participants, researchers are practicing merit and are collecting data in an honest manner. (Habibis, pp. 78, 84) The performance of ethical research depends on the ability to collect data in accordance with the above principles and prove its worth to research, as the cost and burden (financial and time) and the potential for conflicts of interest (financial/personal/professional) are weighed up against the potential consequences of the data (Behavioural and social science, p. 42). Zimbardo (1971) challenged these principles in his prison study by violating his participants and enforcing feelings of “guilt” as is acknowledged in the link below (. By practicing an investigation, researchers are ensured their study is worthwhile to the subject area and is ethically sound. Zimbardo Ethical Breach #S234UOW18 #Lab11 #Thu830

Kellie John said : Guest Report 7 days ago

Ethics refers to the moral standards that govern individual’s behaviour, ethical research refers to making sure ethical principles govern experiments in order to promote participants wellbeing and increase the reliability of research findings. The key principles in ethical research include research merit, integrity, justice, beneficence and respect for human beings. Respect for human beings encompasses the concepts of confidentiality, informed consent, anonymity and protection from harm (Walter 2013). These principles also help create experiments that reduce participants feelings of unsteadiness or nervousness through clearly identifying the safe way research is being conducted. A potential obstacle of ethical research includes the skill and capability of the researcher. A researcher must have knowledge regarding ethical considerations, research methods and data analysis in order to avoid producing results that are inaccurate, invalid or unreliable. Another potential obstacle involves researchers investigating sensitive issues, they have a responsibility to promote the participants wellbeing by taking necessary precautions that can be time consuming to create. For example, when conducting an interview about divorce it may involve the researcher creating a preamble, information sheet and a phone list of health services to ensure the participant is aware of the sensitive topic and purpose of the study. Another challenge involves the concept of beneficence, ensuring the experiments benefits outweigh the risk to participants. This process can be difficult due to participants all having different life experiences and understandings. This causes participants to interpret and answer questions in diverse ways, therefore making analysis and preparation for reactions to sensitive concepts difficult (Walter 2013). #S234UOW18 #Lab11 #Thu830 Reference 1. Walter, Maggie (ed.). 2013. Social Research Methods. 3rd Edition. South Melbourne: Oxford University Press. Online reference that assists in explaining ethics in research 1. Ngu Moi Kwe, 2016, Research Ethics, online video, 17 Feb, viewed 15 May 2018,

Kayla Whitten said : Guest Report 3 months ago

According to Walter (2013, p. 10), the key point of a research question is to identify the main purpose of an individual’s research. This is done in question form (Walter, 2013). Through the individual’s research questions, important ideas are established which seek to explore and explain the research, as well as to identify the key concepts of the proposed research (Walter, 2013, p. 10). Whilst there are different types of research questions, what makes a good and bad research question is what is of interest. To give a single definition of what makes a good or bad research question will be dependent on a number of variables (Walter, 2013). These include the individual’s gender, culture, race and their economic position, as these are part of an individual’s standpoint which shape the way they see the outside world (Walter, 2013, p. 11). As described by Patulny (2018), a good research question must be precise, be clear on the purpose of the research question and to be interesting, to both the researcher and those reading the research (Patulny, 2018). Therefore, it can be said that a bad research question is too general or vague which then results in the research becoming overloaded with useless information as the topic has not been translated into a specific and clearly define research question (Ezzy, 2010, p. 65). As research is so often designed to create and test theory, it can be assumed that only a good research question is able to create a good and testable theory, whereas a bad research question will not be able to appropriately test against or create a theory as it lacks the precision, clarity and curiosity of good research questions (Patulny, 2018). References: - Ezzy, D 2010, ‘The research process’, in M Walter (ed.), Social Research Methods, 2nd ed., Oxford University Press, South Melbourne, pp. 61 – 86. - Patulny, R 2018, ‘Introduction – Social research and Research Questions’, lecture, SOC234, University of Wollongong, delivered 26 August. - Walter, M 2013, ‘The nature of social science research’, in M Walter (ed.), Social Research Methods, 3rd ed., Oxford University Press, South Melbourne, pp. 3 – 23. #S234UOW18 #Thu830 #Lab1

Kayla Whitten said : Guest Report 3 months ago

According to Walter (2013, p. 10), the key point of a research question is to identify the main purpose of an individual’s research. This is done in question form (Walter, 2013). Through the individual’s research questions, important ideas are established which seek to explore and explain the research, as well as to identify the key concepts of the proposed research (Walter, 2013, p. 10). Whilst there are different types of research questions, what makes a good and bad research question is what is of interest. To give a single definition of what makes a good or bad research question will be dependent on a number of variables (Walter, 2013). These include the individual’s gender, culture, race and their economic position, as these are part of an individual’s standpoint which shape the way they see the outside world (Walter, 2013, p. 11). As described by Patulny (2018), a good research question must be precise, be clear on the purpose of the research question and to be interesting, to both the researcher and those reading the research (Patulny, 2018). Therefore, it can be said that a bad research question is too general or vague which then results in the research becoming overloaded with useless information as the topic has not been translated into a specific and clearly define research question (Ezzy, 2010, p. 65). As research is so often designed to create and test theory, it can be assumed that only a good research question is able to create a good and testable theory, whereas a bad research question will not be able to appropriately test against or create a theory as it lacks the precision, clarity and curiosity of good research questions (Patulny, 2018). References: Ezzy, D 2010, ‘The research process’, in M Walter (ed.), Social Research Methods, 2nd ed., Oxford University Press, South Melbourne, pp. 61 – 86. Patulny, R 2018, ‘Introduction – Social research and Research Questions’, lecture, SOC234, University of Wollongong, delivered 26 August. Walter, M 2013, ‘The nature of social science research’, in M Walter (ed.), Social Research Methods, 3rd ed., Oxford University Press, South Melbourne, pp. 3 – 23.

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