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"Discuss, using relevant examples, why it is important to have ethical guidelines when conducting psychological research."

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Introduction

"Discuss, using relevant examples, why it is important to have 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. ...read more.

Middle

All the participants gave shocks to the learner however some went all the way to 450volts. The ethical problems with this experiment were that it wasn't emphasised that the volunteers had the right to withdraw from the experiment anytime, should they wish to. The problem with this is that volunteers could be come distressed. They also used deception in lots of different ways for example they thought that the learner was another volunteer when he was an actor and that the electric shocks that they were administering weren't actually real. However he did debrief the volunteers so they didn't go away thinking they had killed the person. Therefore they could defend the study as they protected the participants by debriefing them at the end. In the 1970's Philip Zimbardo did an investigation to see how readily people would behave in uncharacteristic ways when placed in new situations and given new social roles. ...read more.

Conclusion

Not surprisingly, all infants showed a preference for the more comfortable, cloth-covered 'mother'. However the wire monkey had the food but each time the monkey chose comfort over nourishment. Terrifying as the monster monkeys were, the unfortunate infants continued 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. ...read more.

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