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Sample essay topic, essay writing: Ethical Procedures And Guidelines Defining Psychological Research - 912 words
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Ethical Procedures and Guidelines Defining Psychological ResearchPsychological research is often a very controversial subject among experts.Many people feel that there are many moral standards that are often not followed.Others may believe that there is much harmful misinformation that can often beharmful to subject and others. Still others believe that psychology is a lot oftheories without any reinforcing information. Whether any of these assumptionsmay be true or not, there have been guidelines created which serve to silencemany critics of the science. These guidelines make research safe and structured,which will protect the subjects from unnecessary harm. As psychology advances, there is seen a need for more rules andregulations for the ensurement of subject comfort. Hence, there are many morerules now than even twenty years ago. These rules really encompass a few broadbut very important ideas. One of these ideas is protecting the dignity of thesubjects.
Another important component of this code refers to consent. All ofthese will be explained in greater detail below. Another gray area inpsychology lies in the deception of subjects. There are some basic rulesguiding how deceptions can be carried out. There is a large section of the codethat was made with regards to animal research
The last major section of theASA ethical guidelines has to do with giving credit where credit is due, andinformation sources. All of these regulations make research safer for thesubjects and increase the effectively of psychological research. In psychological research, protecting subjects dignity is very important.Without willing subjects the research process would be brought to a halt. Inorder to protect the subjects' dignity, the lab experiments must be wellprepared, and ethically appropriate. Only subjects who are targeted should beaffected, and if a large number of people are to be affected, psychologistsshould consult experts on that specific group. Psychologists are to be helddirectly responsible for the ethics that are utilized during the experiment.In addition to this psychologists are bound by the normal, governmental lawsconcerning research.
In addition to these regulations concerning the law andstandards, psychologists are required to inform subjects of the basic procedurethat they will be agreeing to. This flows into the idea of informed consent. Informed consent means basically that the subject must be informed ofthe basic procedure that they will be agreeing to. There should not be anyvariations from the agreed upon plan. Whenever there is a doubt about whetheror not informed consent is necessary , an institution or expert in the area ofthe subjects should be consulted.
One complicating factor in this sector isdeception in research. In order to conduct certain experiments, it is helpfulto psychologists to deceive the participants, with respect to exactly whichexperiment is being performed upon them. The rules concerning this areeffective, but (necessarily) rather vague. First of all, psychologists arenever supposed to use deception unless no other alternative of method for theexperiment at hand is available. The deception cannot be in a manner that wouldaffect the participants' decision to participate.
And any deception that takesplace should always be explained as soon as possible, after the experiment hasreached its conclusion. In order to preserve subjects dignity, the information about theexperiment that the subjects have participated in should be made available tothe subjects as soon as possible. This includes, the exact nature of theexperiment, the results , and the conclusions of the experiment. This willprobably have been already agreed upon by the experimenter and the subject, butjust in case, the experimenters are required to honor all commitments made tothe subject. This improves the credibility of the whole science, as a whole.
When the subjects are not human, there are still rules governing thetreatment of such subjects. These pertain mostly to protecting the (relative)comfort of these subjects during experimentation. Basically, when experimentingupon animals, basic care procedures must be followed. When anesthetic oreuthanasical procedures are to be used, they must be carried out in a fashionthat will be both professional and comfortable to the subjects. Obviously, theprocedures that can be carried out upon animals are more drastic than those onhumans because there is no informed consent involved in the study of animals,and the procedures can be justified because the results are purportedly supposedto assist in the betterment of the human race. The last area of ASA code lies in reporting information.
The naturalplagiarism laws are, as always, in effect. This is in addition to many precisescientific falsification laws. These state that a scientist may not falsify orfabricate information, first of all. Also, if a psychologist discovers anysignificant errors in the study after the fact, steps to correct these errorsmust be taken immediately. Also, the psychologists must give credit when it isnecessary, and never neglect to leave any information out.
All of these regulations seem to be very logical, and it is well thatthey should. They have been developed over hundreds of years throughout thestudy of psychology. With respect to current times, these rules seem like theyare sufficient, but the book of code should never be closed. There will alwaysbe a new situation where a new addendum is required to protect a subject, or toassist in the research. As is the case with therapy, there will, without adoubt, be court cases that will change the code of ethics.
But the ASA codesseem to be as proficient as any that are practical in this age. Some of theseregulations may inhibit the immediate results that can be gained, but withoutthem, there would be a definite lack of willing participants to volunteer. Thiswould essentially bring psychological research upon humans to a halt.
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