Examine the ethical controversies related to one method associated with the biological perspective.

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SAQ 2:

Examine the ethical controversies related to one method associated with the biological perspective.

        One method that is used in the biological perspective is the experimental method. This method is used when investigating how biological factors contribute to behavior. One way of testing a new drug for treating a psychological disorder is by studying its effects on human participants. For example Stein looked at the effectiveness of Ritalin (Methylphenidate) on children who were diagnosed with Deficit Hyperactive Disorder (ADHD). There were four groups of children and they all took different dosages of the drug, or a placebo. This is just one example where humans are tested with a drug in a psychological experiment in the biological perspective. However, there are some ethical implications of using humans that arise during such experiments. In this case, there are ethical issues in the study such as the use of children, and the fact that they can become addicted to the drug, even though they may have decided not to take it after the experiment. To ensure that participants know exactly what will happen to them in such experiments, and what conditions they will be put in they should be briefed and sign a consent form. These are only two of the regulations that experimenters have to follow to ensure that there are no ethical implications. The subject needs to give informed consent before the experiment starts, there should be no harm or long-term damage done to the individual, the participant has the right to withdraw there should be a debriefing at the end where the subject is told what the aim of the experiment was, and the individuals name and details should be kept confidential. These rules can sometimes make it difficult to perform experiments on humans because you cannot control all confounding variables and time requirements. For example, you cannot do an experiment for a longer amount of time, that involves the participant to stay inside the laboratory because he or she would never agree to it. That is why research that cannot be done on humans is then done on non-human animals, one reason is that the animal doesn’t have to agree to the study or have the right to withdraw.

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        One of the assumptions of the biological perspective is that the nervous system of non-human animals is similar to that of humans and therefore research done on non-human animals can be applicable to explaining behavior in humans as well. Animal research therefore can help us understand how the central nervous system works, which, according to the biological perspective, is crucial to having a full understanding of behavior. Some of these behaviors include mental illnesses, memory disorders, and drug addiction. For example Remmer did an experiment on tolerance by testing how rabbits reacted to pentobarbital treatment. The rabbits fell asleep ...

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