This essay will attempt to offer a balanced review of ethical considerations related to research studies at the biological level of analysis.
Ethics are moral principles that guide the conduct of psychological research to protect participants and prevent controversy that may arise from unethical research, damaging the reputation of psychology, and psychologists. Offering of the right to withdraw at all times is one of the six psychological principles of ethics, meaning that leaving the research trials should always be a viable option for participants throughout the duration of the study. On the other hand, a compromise for some principles may be possible and has been done, an example is in Mil-
gram et al’s study, where the right to withdraw was not readily available, and therefore compromised with a long, intensive period of debriefing over many years. Another psychological research principle includes the right to confidentiality, meaning that participants must be kept anonymous unless full informed consent is given. Additionally, informed consent is required, as participants must know what they are agreeing to participate in. Likewise, researchers should aim to avoid the deception of participants, unless there exists no alternative for it.
Methods of deception include misleading, wrongly, or not full informing participants about the study are all varieties of deception methods when conducted on purpose. The participants should have their physical
and mental wellbeing protected, and unharmed from the research, so that they do not end up traumatized. The last principle of psychological research ethics is that researche...
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...ormal to display extreme amounts of obedience to figures of authority. Although whether or not the results can be generalized is debated, as the study was only conducted on men, and was only held with self-selected volunteers that may not be an accurate general representation of the population. It is evident that this study violated ethical principles of deception, right to withdraw, and protection of participants’ relative mental states. On the other hand, Milgram argues that deception and difficult withdrawal was necessary ecological validity-wise, so that it shows true results of obedience to authority, and that any mental harm was insignificant, as it was only short term. As a matter of fact, during the long debriefing period that took place over significant numbers of years, 83.7% of participants were said to be pleased about being involved in the study.
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