Ethical issues (15)

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Ethical issues (15)
  1. Advantages of the use of the scientific method in psychology
    1. Empirical data
      1. Gained through direct observation/experiment
        1. Adv - people can make claims but only way we know such things is through empirical evidence
          1. E.g testing a drug
          2. Objective
            1. Systematic collection of data is at the heart of scientific method
              1. Adv - w/out objectivity we have no way of knowing data is valid
                1. E.g Gardner & Gardner used a strict set of criteria to make judgements
                2. Falsifiable
                  1. Aim to falsify a hypothesis (reject a null hypo)
                    1. Adv - not poss. to prove a hypo correct, but poss to prove it wrong
                      1. E.g Freud's psychoanalysis is unfalsifiable. Validity of theory is important!
                      2. Controlled
                        1. Ideal form is lab experiment - allows causal relationships. manipulation of variables and control of extraneous
                          1. Adv - if we can't demonstrate causal, how do we know what causes what?
                          2. Replication
                            1. Psycho. record and standardise methods so they can be replicated
                              1. Adv - repeating a study is most important way to dem. validity
                                1. E.g Milgram's eco. validity was confirmed through replication
                              2. Disadvantages of the use of the scientific method in psychology
                                1. Lack internal validity
                                  1. Investigator effects, demand characteristics which compromise the validity
                                    1. Disadv - observed effects may be due to extraneous variables not research manipulation
                                      1. E.g Milgram found obedience decreased when 'victim' was in close prox. to experimenter - NOT true in Nazi death camps
                                      2. Reductionist
                                        1. Behaviour must be reduced to a set of operationalised variables - behavioural categories are operationalised in experiments and observational
                                          1. Disadv - oversimplify complex human behaviour - no longer studying what we intend to
                                            1. E.g Laing on schiz. claimed treatment can only succeed if each patient treated individually (idiographic)
                                            2. Individual differences
                                              1. Science takes a nomothetic approach, generalisations and finding similarities
                                                1. Disadv - gender, culture, age etc. are overlooked
                                                  1. Most psycho. research has involved American male college ppts. - ignoring the poss. of unique characteristics e.g higher intelligence
                                                  2. Ethical issues
                                                    1. Disadv - whether benefits outweigh costs, if ethical costs are 'excusable' the ppts may still be harmed in some way
                                                      1. E.g many people feel knowledge gained in Milgram's study excuses any harm to ppts. However, ppts may feel their rights had been infringed
                                                    2. Ethical issues w/ human ppts
                                                      1. Informed consent
                                                        1. Basic right stemming from inhumane experiments in death camps WW2
                                                          1. Having informed consent threatens the validity of research - demand characteristics, especially important in incidences of harm
                                                            1. E.g Milgram's experienced extreme distress - didnt have the opportunity to decline to take part
                                                            2. Deception
                                                              1. Honesty important ethical principle breaches researchers duty of care - deception prevents informed consent
                                                                1. E.g Rosenhan - hop staff deceived about pseudo patients may have lead them to be mistrustful of patients, not offering best treatment available
                                                                2. Right to withdraw
                                                                  1. If ppts don't have this - they may remain in a study that causes distress and harm
                                                                    1. Various circumstances where they feel they cannot withdraw
                                                                      1. E.g Milgram - 'the experiment requires that you continue' caused much physical harm, seizures and digging fingernails into skin
                                                                      2. Protection from harm
                                                                        1. Not always poss to anticipate harm
                                                                          1. E.g Milgram's extent of distress was not predicted - 1% reaching 450V predicted
                                                                          2. Confidentiality and privacy
                                                                            1. Conf - trust that personal info is protected. Privacy - right to control flow of info about themselves
                                                                              1. Diff. to establish what is private
                                                                                1. Observation of ppts in supermarket? Breach of privacy? Public place - expected?
                                                                              2. Dealing w/ ethical issues w/ human ppts
                                                                                1. Presumptive consent
                                                                                  1. Deal w/ informed consent/deception - similar group to ppts, tell full aims and procedure, if they agree then assume that the sample would too
                                                                                    1. E.g Milgram - 14 Yale Psycho students - 1% to 450V
                                                                                    2. Punishment
                                                                                      1. BPS can review research, deciding whether to bar someone practising as a psychologist
                                                                                        1. Not a legal matter, but affect's researchers livelihood
                                                                                        2. Ethical guidelines
                                                                                          1. BPS and APA have ethical guidelines & codes of conduct - tell psychologists what is not acceptable
                                                                                            1. General as they can't cover every situation - CPA takes a diff. approach, hypothetical dilemmas, encouraging discussion. 'I followed the guidelines so my research is acceptable
                                                                                            2. Ethical committee
                                                                                              1. Every institution where research takes place has one, must approve research before it begins - looks at poss. issues and how researcher is going to deal w/ them, cost/benefit of research
                                                                                                1. Cost/benefit are flawed - subjective judgement, costs not always apparent
                                                                                                2. Debriefing
                                                                                                  1. Once completed, ppts should be informed of true aims etc & offered opp. to discuss concerns/withdraw data - compensate for lack of informed consent
                                                                                                    1. Can't turn back the clock on any physical/psychological harm, may still feel embarrassed
                                                                                                  2. Ethical issues & animals
                                                                                                    1. Value of animals
                                                                                                      1. Several reasons why research conducted on animals
                                                                                                        1. Fascinating - benefitting animals
                                                                                                          1. Greater control and objectivity
                                                                                                            1. Similar physiology and evolutionary past to humans - generalisable. Animals tested under stressful conditions provide v little useful info
                                                                                                            2. Use animals when procedures would not be poss with human beings, e.g. sensory deprivation. Animals 'cost' less, benefits outweigh costs to animals
                                                                                                            3. Existing constraints
                                                                                                              1. UK Animals Act (1986) requires research takes place at licensed labs w/ licensed researchers on a licensed project - 3 levels of regulation - only granted if...
                                                                                                                1. Potential results outweigh use of animals cost/benefit
                                                                                                                  1. Research can't be done any other way
                                                                                                                    1. Min. no of animals used
                                                                                                                      1. Suffering kept to a min.
                                                                                                                      2. 3R's Replace (animals) Reduce (no. used) Refine (procedures to cause less suffering) - NC3Rs national group to encourage use of 3R's
                                                                                                                        1. BPS guidelines - many constraints created to make research as ethical as poss. e.g. heed 3Rs, food regulation to their normal diet, companion animals for social animals
                                                                                                                          1. Dunayer (2002) argues guidelines sets standards for imprisonment, enslavement etc of animals - similar to American black slave laws
                                                                                                                            1. Kilkenny et al (2009) - metaanalyes of 271 studies - 59% mentioned no. of animals used, many reporting diff no. in method and results section of report, many poorly designed
                                                                                                                              1. No. of issues that should be addressed, heeding 3Rs, more careful design, more accurate scientific reporting.
                                                                                                                            2. Moral justification
                                                                                                                              1. Gray (1991) - moral obligation to help humans first
                                                                                                                                1. Singer (1975) utilitarian - greatest good for the greatest number, animal research - speciesim
                                                                                                                                  1. Regan (1985) never use animals - too have an inherent value (absolutist)
                                                                                                                                    1. Sentience - do animals feel pain & emotion. Treaty of Lisbon declared 'all animals are sentient'. Even if not, we wouldn't use non-sentient human beings (brain damaged) in research
                                                                                                                                  2. Ethical issues in applications
                                                                                                                                    1. Media
                                                                                                                                      1. BPS recognises demand for psychologists in media - free contact service putting media in contact w/ media-friendly psychologists. Many ethical issues arise especially with TV. Created document 'Ethical Implications for Psychologists Working on TV'
                                                                                                                                        1. Informed consent - TV ppts losing their privacy and right to what may be used, especially important w/ children
                                                                                                                                          1. E.g. Castaway (2000) fully informed of implications to taking part, unaware of repercussions, e.g. magazines criticising characters.
                                                                                                                                          2. Manipulation - is psychologists duty to protect ppts from any physical/psychological harm that might be greater than experienced in everyday. Should not lie or withhold info that they believe ppts are likely to object to.
                                                                                                                                            1. E.g. Big Brother psychologist resigned when asked to create tension and stressful situations on ppts
                                                                                                                                            2. Duty of care - BPS reminds psychologists it is their duty to treat ppts w/ 'highest standards of consideration and respect'
                                                                                                                                              1. Confidentiality - all discussions between psychologist and ppt to remain private, not on TV
                                                                                                                                                1. Professional boundaries - not offer advice on matters outside their area of expertise
                                                                                                                                                2. Military
                                                                                                                                                  1. Improving interrogation techniques -key task to gain info from the enemy, drawn on lots of psycho research
                                                                                                                                                    1. E.g. Hebb et al (sponsored by CIA) - sensory deprivation, volunteer students kept in physical and social isolation, within days started to experience extreme visual and auditory hallucinations - much more susceptible to propaganda
                                                                                                                                                    2. Propaganda - develop propaganda campaigns, presents facts selectively and form of political warfare
                                                                                                                                                      1. E.g. Vietnam War 1960's - American psychologists delivered propaganda leaflets on anniversaries of relatives deaths to decrease morale
                                                                                                                                                      2. Training animals for warfare - using conditioning techniques, recently sea lions trained to attach cuff-like things to enemy divers
                                                                                                                                                        1. During WW2 behaviourist Skinner created 'Project Pigeon' accurately pilot missiles to enemy ships
                                                                                                                                                        2. Pos. influences - helping military cope with stress and injury e.g. PTSD has origins to WW1 as 'battle fatigue'
                                                                                                                                                          1. Sherif et al - conflict resolution by working together on superordinate goals
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