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AQA Psychology - Issues and Debates > Ethical Implications > Flashcards

Flashcards in Ethical Implications Deck (10)
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How can ethical issues may arise?

  • Conflict between Psychology's need to gain valid valuable research findings at the same time preserving the rights and dignity of the paritcipants


Wider ethical implications of research are hard to predict

Researchers can control the methods they use and how they treat participants

They have less influence on how findings are presented in the media

 how their work impacts public policicy and how affects the perception of some groups in society


What is social sensitivty?

 idea that some areas of research are controversial and are often difficult to study.


What is example of social sensitivity?

  • For example, homosexuality is a difficult topic to study as it is hard for people to talk about their sexuality.
  • Therefore, due to a lack of people discussing the topic it is socially sensitive because it is difficult to study.


Researchers should not avoid this type of research

(socially sensitive research)

Some forms of research are socially sensitive but psychologists shouldnt 'shy away'from them

Because of the importance of such research , psychology has a social responsibility to carry it out(Aroson)


What are the four key aspects of research process where ethical implicatio considered

  1. he first one is the research question and ensuring that it does not add credibility to a prevailing prejudice.
  2. Also, the treatment of the participants should be considered in order to maintain confidentiality.
  3. Then the institutional context should be considered which is to ensure the data is not misused.
  4. Finally, the interpretation of findings need to be considered which is to ensure that the findings have no implication for those involved so it can then be published.


A strength

Benefits of social sensitive research

  • Scarr (1988) argues that sudies of under-represented groups and issues may promote greater understanding and help reduce predjuice and encourage acceptance
  • Socially sensitive research has benefitted society (e.g research into unrelaibility of eyewitness testimoney has reduced the risk of miscarriages of justice within the legal system)
  • This suggests that socially sensitive research plays huge role in society


A strength is understanding how to frame questions

  • Siber and Stanely warn that how research questions are phrased and investigated may influence the ways findings are intrerpreted
  • Kitzinger and Coyle note how research into so-called alternatvie relationships have been guilty of hetrosexual bias - homosexual relationships are judged againt hetrosexual norms
  • This suggests that investigators must approach their research with an open mind and prepared to have their preconceptions to be challenged avoid misrepresenting minority groups



socially sensitive researvh it may be used to social control

  • in 1920s and 20s a large number of US states enacted legalisation that led to compuksory sterilisation of many of its citizens
  • These people were judged to be 'feeble minded' (e.g those of low intellgience drug alcohol addicts and mentally ill) Some psychologists argue unfit to breed
  • The fact that socially sensitive research has been used to prop up discriminatory practicesin the past is argumenet against is widespread adoption


Limitation is that costs and benefits may be difficult to predict

  • Research that carries ethical implications (or socially sensitive ) is scruntised by ethics committee - it is their job to weigh up the costs and benefits for research
  • However some of the social consequences of research involving vulnerable groups may be difficult to anticipate
  • Assessments of worth such as research as typically subjective and the real impact of research can only be ever known once it has made public