One extremely important ethical issue is protection from harm.
Researchers must ensure that there is complete protection for their participants,
from any kind of psychological or physical harm during and after the study they
conduct. Psychological harm could potentially be hard to identify in
participants as even they themselves may be unaware that they’ve been affected
in this way. This is why it is important that researchers demonstrate their
best efforts to prevent this kind of harm (as well as physical harm) from
Confidentiality is another important issue when conducting research. This
means that results must be completely anonymous, so no
one can identify the participants from the results. This therefore ensures the
safety of the participant and their personal details.
Having the right to withdraw is another ethical
issue. Researchers should make sure that participants are fully aware that they
are free to leave the study at
any time and withdraw their results at any time if they wish to do so. This
is necessary as some participants could feel pressured into carrying on with
taking part in a study, and it helps to stop participants from feeling uncomfortable
with the results that they obtain.
Informed consent is another issue whereby the participant
must give their full permission for the researchers to use their results, after
being told the true aims of the study. If this has not been given by
participants, then their results are not allowed to be used and involved in the
is an important issue which must always take place after a
study is over. It is done to make sure that the participants have not been
harmed in any way during or after the study, and to ensure that the researchers
have fully informed consent. It allows participants to remove their results
from the study if they wish to do so, and gives them the chance to ask any
questions they may have in order to fully understand the nature of it.
is a huge issue which is still often used in studies today. This is when
participants are misled in any way and can involve the use of confederates to
do so. Some studies still require this in order to prevent demand
characteristics. This must be done to ensure that there are no confounding
variables impacting on the results and conclusions of the study, and to ensure
that the results are valid. However, debriefing in these kinds of studies is
extremely important as this is the only time participants are made fully aware
of what they study is actually about, which is the only time they are able to
give fully informed consent.