The Importance of Ethical Guidelines When Conducting Psychological Research

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The Importance of Ethical Guidelines When Conducting Psychological Research

Ethical guidelines are concerns about the impact that research has on
the subjects. The effects can be both beneficial and harmful and so
the researcher must always think very carefully about how they ought
to behave so that no harm comes to the subjects.

In the 1960's the ethical aspect of research was barely considered
they were accepted as a way in which research was conducted. The need
to have some sort of guidelines to protect research subjects was
recognised in the 1970's, but it wasn't until 1990's that the first
set of ethical guidelines were published.

Ethical guidelines produced by the British Psychological Society (BPS)
for human subjects in the 1990's consisted of ten principles. Examples
of these are deception, the right to withdraw, and protection of
participants. These are all important when conducting psychological
research to make sure that the psychologists don't cause pain or
damage to their subjects as a result of their investigations.

Investigators must consider the ethical implications and psychological
consequences for the participants in their research in all
circumstances. The essential belief is that the investigation should
be considered from the point of view of all participants. Foreseeable
threats to their psychological well-being, health, values or dignity
should be removed. Investigators should recognise that, where
investigations involve individuals of different ages, gender and
social background, the investigators may not have enough knowledge of
the consequences of any investigation for the participants.

In the 19...

... middle of paper ...

...d to return to them, no doubt because they
had no other source of comfort. This type of experiment would breach
animal ethnic guidelines. The Animal Welfare Act, altered in 1985
governs the care and use of many research animals. The U.S. Department
of Agriculture is responsible for enforcing the Act and carrying out
regular unannounced inspections of animal research facilities. The
IACUC is required to include both a veterinarian and a local community
member who is not associated with the establishment. Animals may not
be obtained and studies may not be conducted unless the IACUC has
approved the code of behaviour for its adherence to Federal guidelines
for appropriate and humane use of animals. The IACUC must also
maintain records about the use of animals at the institution and
conduct periodic inspections of its own.

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