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Psychology - Honours year > Ethics > Flashcards

Flashcards in Ethics Deck (57):

When we say that a research participant has a right to confidentiality, what does this mean?

That they have a right to not have their information (e.g., their identity, responses or performance) revealed to any third party without their (participant's) consent.


There are 5 specific ethical requirements of any research involving indigenous Australians. List TWO of these.

*psychologists should be aware of any relevant research pertaining to provision of
psychological services for these people;

• they should take into account their ethnicity and culture

• they should be aware of, and show due acknowledgment of and respect for, their
value systems and authority structures

• they should conduct their practice in a manner and, where possible, in an
appropriate language medium with which indigenous clients feel comfortable;

• they should have an awareness of the socio-political issues that might adversely
affect the well-being of indigenous clients and the effectiveness of the services

• they should be aware of the impact of their own beliefs, stereotypes and
communication rules on their interpretation of the behaviour of indigenous clients,

• they should document in their records and reports those cultural, linguistic and
other social factors that might be relevant to the provision of services to an
indigenous client,

• they should clearly inform indigenous clients of their client rights, and the means by
which those rights might be safeguarded; and

• they should react in an appropriate manner against any prejudice or discrimination
by other persons that is directed at an indigenous client


The Code is built on three general ethical principles. They are:

A. Respect for the rights and dignity of people and peoples (right to respect, autonomy, justice)
B. Propriety (Beneficence, non-maleficence, competence)
C. Integrity. (good character trust)


What are the 5 ethical standards of "respect of the rights and dignity of people and peoples"?

Informed Consent


What does the ethical standard of "justice" entail?

No discrimination as proscribed by law (e.g., sex, gender, religion etc), understand the consequences of discrimination and help address issues arising from it.


What does the ethical standard of "respect" entail?

With Clients: respect through behaviour, actions, language, manner. NO coercion, demeaning or defaming. Respect for legal/moral rights

With other Psychologists: Objectivity, constructive criticism, NOT intemperate criticism.


What does the ethical standard of "Informed Consent" entail?

ensure consent is informed by:
1. explain nature and purpose of intended procedures
2. Clarify reasonably foreseeable risks, adverse effects, possible disadvantages
3. Explain how info will be collected and stored and for how long
4. Are completely free to choose to participate or not, or withdraw
5. Clarify the frequency, duration, financial, administration basis of any psych services
6. explain confidentiality and LIMITS to it.
7. under what conditions psyc services will be terminated
8. any other relevant information

That informed consent is given (by client or guardians) should be documented)


When does a psychologist not have to obtain consent?

1. rendering the service without consent is permitted by law OR
2. a National Health and Medical Research Council (NHMRC) or other appropriate ethics committee has waived the requirement in respect of research.

when consent is not possible or required by law, STILL COMPLY AS FAR AS PRACTICALLY POSSIBLE


What does the ethical standard of "Privacy" entail?

Avoid undue invasion of privacy in collection of info.
Only collect info relevant to the service being provided.

Supervisees or trainees also have privacy rights.


What does the ethical standard of "Confidentiality" entail?

Safeguard information obtained during provision of psych services.

Inform at the outset of professional relationship the limits to confidentiality and foreseeable uses of info generated through course of the relationship.


When can a psychologist disclose confidential information?

1. with consent of relevant client or a person with legal authority to act on behalf of the client
2. when there is a legal obligation to do so
3. if there is an IMMEDIATE and SPECIFIED risk of harm to an IDENTIFIABLE person or persons that can be averted only by disclosing information; or
4. When consulting colleages or in the course of supervision or professional training provided by the psychologist - PROVIDING: conceals identity of client and associated parties involved OR obtains clients consent and gives prior notice to recipients of the information that they are requires to preserve the clients privacy.



Should psychologists release information to their clients?

Psychologists, with consideration of legislative exceptions and their organisational requirements, do no refuse any reasonable request from clients, or former clients, to access client information, for which the psychologists have professional responsibility.


How should a psychologist go about collecting information about a client from others?

1. obtain consent of client
2. inform client of intended sources of info, nature and purpose of info collection, how info will be collected, how (and how long) info will be stored, that they may decline the request and the consequences of doing so.
3. obtain associated party's consent


What is the propriety ethical standard of "competence" entail?

1. Psychologist bring and MAINTAIN appropriate skills and learning to their areas of professional practice.

2. only provide pysc services within boundaries of ones professional competence (working in the limits of education, training, supervised experience and professional experience.)

3. Base services on the established knowledge of the discipline and profession of pschology

4. Seek appropriately professionally competent psychologists when required.

5. continually monitor professional functioning - obtain proff advice about whether should limit, suspend or terminate services, refrain if necessary - find clients alternative options.


What is the propriety ethical standard of "record keeping" entail?

Make and KEEP adequate records for a minimum of 7 years since client last contact (unless legal or organisation requirements specify otherwise)

if 18 y.o or under, keep at least till client attains the age of 25 years.


What is the propriety ethical standard of "professional responsibility" entail?

1. act with care
2. take responsibility for (Reasonably foreseeable) consequences of conduct
3. only provide services when necessary
4. personal responsibility for professional decisions.
5. ensure services and products are used appropriately and responsibly
6. establish and maintain proper professional boundaries with clients and colleagues.
7. regularly review the contractual arrangements with clients, when circumstances change, make relevant modifications as necessary with the informed consent of the client.


When should a psychologist terminate their psychological services with a client?

if it is reasonably clear that the client is not benefiting from their services.

If confronted with evidence of a problem or situation with which they are not competent to deal or when a client is not benefitting from their psychological services.


What does a psychologist need to consider and do when termination psych services with a client?

1. due regard for process, well-being of client is most important
2. make reasonable arrangements for the continuity of service provisions when either you (psyc) is unable to keep providing the service (incompetence or other reason) or client is unable to afford (Financial).

need for termination


When creating an assessment or measure (psychological assessment) how should the psychologist go about this?

1. Use established scientific procedures and observe relevant psychometric standards when they develop and standardise psychological tests and other assessment techniques.

2. specify the purposes and uses of assessment
techniques and clearly indicate the limits of the assessment
techniques’ applicability.


What factors does a psychologist need to be mindful of when Using psychological assessments?

1. ensure that they choose, administer and interpret
assessment procedures appropriately and accurately.

2. use valid procedures and research findings when
scoring and interpreting psychological assessment data.

3. report assessment results appropriately and
accurately in language that the recipient can understand


Why should psychologists not share psychological assessment methods? (with untrained /unqualified/unauthorised people)

it would compromise the effective use of psychological
assessment methods or techniques.....opening them to misuse and misinterpretation.


Free and informed consent to participate in research means....

voluntary agreement to participate after receiving an
explanation of the nature of the study and what participation involves (i.e., what would be
required of the participant, including time commitments), and with full knowledge that they can refuse. Where people are unable to give informed consent (e.g., because they are too young or intellectually disabled), there are special provisions for obtaining consent from guardians/parents.
(Irrespective, consent from the participant should be obtained where at all possible.)


Confidentiality and anonymity (in research participation) means....

researchers may not disclose (orally or in written form) any
information about specific participants (e.g., their identity or anything about their responses to
questions or their performance on a task) to any other party. Often, no identifying information is
needed. Any identifying information that is recorded, e.g., consent form, should be kept separately from the participant’s actual data.


Harm minimisation (in research) means....

researchers must avert/minimise risks, harms and discomfort (these include
psychological discomforts such as negative mood, anxiety, confusion and embarrassment). Any potential discomforts must, where at all possible, be anticipated and disclosed to the participant prior to their consent, be remedied/reversed where applicable/possible and must be justified by the merit of the research study.


IS deception ethical? When is deception approved in psychology research?

As a general principle, deception of, concealment of the purposes of a study from, or covert observation of, identifiable participants are not considered ethical because they are contrary to the principle of respect for persons in that free and fully informed consent cannot be given. In some fields of research, for example the study of human behaviour, there may be exceptional circumstances where studies cannot be conducted without deception, concealment or covert observation. Before approving such a research proposal, the Committee must be satisfied that:

• the scientific validity of the outcome of the research would be compromised without the deception, concealment or covert observation;
• the precise extent of the deception, concealment or covert observation is defined;
• there are no suitable alternative methods by which the desired information can be obtained;
• participants are not exposed to an increased risk of harm as a result of the deception, concealment or covert observation;
• adequate and prompt disclosure is made and debriefing provided to each participant as soon as practicable after they have completed their participation; and
• participants will be able to withdraw data obtained from them during the research.


What is the role of 'research merit' in psychological research and ethics?

ethics committees also have the role of ensuring that the project is
methodologically appropriate, and capable of achieving the intended aims (because, otherwise it’s
an abuse of goodwill, trust, and a waste of participants’ time).


What is "provision of feedback" in psych research?

researchers usually provide feedback regarding the aims and nature of the
research to participants on their completion of the study


Under what circumstances should you contact the registrar of firearms?

what information do you need to give the firearms department?

Where you have reasonable cause to believe that:
* the person you are seeing is suffering a from a physical or mental illness/disability or deficiency that is likely to make possession of a firearm unsafe, and
* that person holds or intends to apply for firearms license or
* possesses or intends to possess a firearm

you must inform the registrar of firearms in writing of the name/address/nature of illness and reason why in your opinion it would be unsafe for the person to have possession of a firearm as soon as possible.


If you FAIL to report to the firearms department when there is risk, what might happens?

no civil or criminal liability can arise from making a report. BUT FAILURE to do so may lead to disciplinary action under he psychological practices Act (unprofessional behaviour) or civil action (negligence) for events that flow from the failure to comply.


When can adult confidentiality (without their 'consent) be broken?

* files are subpoenaed (be professional/mindful of what you include in your files, include detail)

* child is being abused

* there is joint custody of the child as the client (both parents are entitled to get information, unless detrimental to the child etc, timing and appropriateness of the information)

* serious crime is committer or planned (robbery, violence - detailed plan)


Who is on a research ethics commitee?

Lay-woman, Lay-man, minister of religion, lawyer, a person with knowledge of and current experience in professional care e.g., medical practitioner, psychologist, social worker, nurse, 2 members appointed by the deputy-vice chancellor with expertise in research


What is the role of ethics committees?

To ensure that research meets the guild lines of the National Statement of Ethical Conduct in Human Research


• that there are no detrimental effects to participants, incidental people or organisations from the research, particularly where there are power imbalances between the parties;
• that participants give their free and informed consent to be involved*;
• that, except where specifically permitted, participants are anonymous and cannot be linked to the information provided in an ensuing thesis or publication(s); and
• that the research is justifiable in terms of its potential contribution to knowledge.


What are the guiding principles of RESEARCH?

1. Research merit and integrity
2. Beneficence - doing good, kindness, minimising emotional and physical discomforts, minimising risk of harm
3. Respect - recognising the intrinsic value of human beings, being sensitive to their circumstances, beliefs, perceptions and cultural background
4. justice - who ought to received the benefits of the research and who should bare its burdens


How is 'harm' defined in regards to research psychology?

Harm is defined very broadly

* pain, injury, illness

* distress, guilt, embarrassment

* Devaluation e.g., feeling humiliated or manipulated

* Damage to relationships e,g,m social, employment

* Legal implications

ALSO, discomfort and Inconvenience


What does it mean to say a study has negligible risk?

no risk of harm or discomfort, but minor inconvenience at most


What does it mean to say a study has low risk?

The only foreseeable risk is one of discomfort


What does it mean to say a study is not low risk?

Where the risk, even if unlikely, is more serious than discomfort.


What are the three levels of 'risk' in research psychology?

1. negligible risk
2. low risk
3. not low risk


Example: mood and memory study - positive v sad mood (induced by PG video clip) followed by happy, sad and emotional neutral words - and then unexpected memory test. ..what are the ethical issues here and how can they be dealt with?

* Will be watching a film and one of them is quite sad, (maybe prompt that if you have lost a family member).

*unexpected memory test may be distressing


* Remind participants of their right to withdraw at any point.

* Give some HINT about the memory test (e.g., a cognitive memory test)

* Solid debriefing - why it had to be unexpected (give rationale), reassure them that they did fine

* Show them the happy movie - as a debrief. (i.e., reverse effects of manipulation)

* Right to withdraw data


Research merit and integrity - how do you do this?

• Ensure the research is justified by its benefits weighed against the risks.

• Base the design on a thorough literature search.
• Conduct the research honestly and with commitment to the search for knowledge and understanding.


How is consent handled in children and young people?

Consent to a child or young person’s participation in research must be obtained from the child or young person whenever he or she has sufficient competence to make this decision; and either the parent/guardian (in all but exceptional circumstances) or an organisation or person required by law.

A child or young person’s refusal to participate must be respected


What additional principles apply to research that involves or impacts upon indigenous Australians

1. There is appropriate consultation with State/Federal/local Indigenous agencies with regard to the usefulness of the research, and the sensitivity to the political and cultural situation of the community(ies) concerned, prior to the design of the project proposal.

2. Ideally the proposal should evolve from a collaborative approach to project design with at least one Indigenous group/organisation. Particular cultural and social needs should be taken into account.

3. Wherever possible, written consent should be obtained from individual participants or subjects and the relevant community elders and/or leaders and/or community-recognised spokespersons. Informed consent must be based upon a clear, simply-worded but comprehensive Information Sheet given to each participant. If a written document is not appropriate the information may be presented in whatever medium that will ensure it is readily understood by participants.

4. Agreement must be reached concerning details pertaining to the return of identifiable raw data and secure storage, usually in writing in the form of a research contract.

5. Prior to any publication or presentation, research findings should be confidentially conveyed to participants and a Summary of Research Findings should be reported to the whole community through appropriate community agencies, in whatever form they deem appropriate. Pictorial material must only be created, produced or used with consent, and must be handled in accordance with the community’s wishes. Indigenous assistants or contributors should, wherever practical, be involved in preparation of publications and should be acknowledged. Co-authorship of publications with Indigenous people should be arranged wherever appropriate.


What are the guidelines for questionnaire and interview studies?

1. Procedures for data collection, analysis and storage shall ensure that the information contributed by individual subjects remains forever confidential, and that no subject can be individually identified unless written authorisation by the subject has been sought and obtained.
2. Subjects are free to decline to answer any particular question/s.
3. Where the procedure consists entirely of the administration of questionnaires or the conducting of interviews, the requirement for providing sufficient information to enable participants to give informed consent will be considered to be satisfied by the inclusion of a Letter of Introduction and an Information Sheet. Letter of Introduction and Consent Form pro forma and the guidelines for preparing an Information Sheet are available from the Submission Forms, Guidelines and Templates SBREC web page.
Consent Forms are not required for questionnaires. Completion of the questionnaire is considered to be consent.
If the study involves participants from other cultures, the Letter of Introduction, Information Sheet and any Consent Forms should be translated as appropriate. The translated documents should be submitted with the ethics application form and should include a statement verifying accuracy of the translation, signed by the researcher or, in the case of a student researcher, the supervisor.
Cultural requirements in other places and contexts, especially overseas, may differ importantly from those here. If culturally more appropriate, researchers may suggest to the Committee any modifications to the usual procedures involving the Letter of Introduction, Information Sheet and Consent Forms.

Justification for any modifications should also be provided. The overriding aim is to ensure appropriate consultation, the continuing duty of the investigator towards the subject, the provision of full facilities, and the need to ensure comprehension by the subject before consent is obtained.
4. Recording of an interview may take place only with the consent of the interviewee which would normally be required in writing, unless there are cultural, literacy or confidentiality issues involved.
5. Persons administering questionnaires are required to carry with them an approved identification card.
6. Where research is conducted in a school, permission must be obtained from the school Principal. Consent must be obtained from parents/guardians, and assent should be sought from children if they have sufficient competence. A child’s refusal to participate must be respected even if a parent/guardian has granted consent for participation.
7. If the research is to be conducted in a public school ethics approval is also required from Department for Education and Child Development (DECD). For more information please refer to the Research Involving Children or Vulnerable Adults SBREC web page.
8. It is essential for researchers to obtain a Criminal History Check prior to conducting research in schools. The process for obtaining such a clearance is available from the Criminal History Checks – staff and students web page.
9. For any other research in which participants are under the age of 18 years, consent must be obtained from a parent or legal guardian as well as from the child participant. A child’s refusal to participate must be respected regardless of whether the parent has already consented for their child to participate.
Flinders University students, aged 17 years, may participate in research without parental consent providing the project is deemed to be low risk by the SBREC. Participants recruited outside of the University under the age of 18-years will require parental consent unless a compelling argument can be made to the Committee.
10. If participants are to be contacted through an agency, the agency must not divulge personal information or contact details of potential participants to the researcher without first obtaining the consent of the potential participants.
11. If the research involves a telephone survey the interviewer is required at the initial contact to:
• identify him/herself clearly and unambiguously;
• indicate his/her position in the University;
• briefly describe the nature of the research;
• ensure that the respondent is informed that he/she may to decline to participate, choose not to answer any particular question, or withdraw at any time; and

• guarantee the confidentiality of any data supplied and the anonymity of the participant.
The respondent must be given the name and contact details of the Executive Officer of the Committee and allowed the time to verify the legitimacy of the project, if required.


In esscense/particular does the committee seek to assure?

• that there are no detrimental effects to participants, incidental people or organisations from the research, particularly where there are power imbalances between the parties;
• that participants give their free and informed consent to be involved*;
• that, except where specifically permitted, participants are anonymous and cannot be linked to the information provided in an ensuing thesis or publication(s); and
• that the research is justifiable in terms of its potential contribution to knowledge.


Who should seek ethics clerance?

Research involving:

sacred or significant sites

personally identifiable records

unpublished data on humans

research involving or impacting on indigenous people


When is ethical clearance not necessary?

Gathering or accessing publicly available information
Topic evaluation, quality assurance activities (audits conducted within the university)


Can children refuse to participate in research even if there parents say yes?


Consent is needed from the young person (with sufficient competence to make the decision) AND the parent/guardian (or as required by law)



How is (and isn't) it appropriate to pay participants in research?

It IS appropriate to reimburse there time, however the amount should not be enough that the payment becomes an incentive to participant (interferes with free consent). Lotteries and raffles are also generally considered unethical without sufficient justification.


What issues do researches have to address when submitting to an ethics committee regarding research that involves or impact upon collectivities? (also what are collectivities!?)

Collectivities = cultural or ethnic groups and communities.

Researchers will need to satisfy the Committee that the following matters have been addressed in any research protocol involving a collectivity:
• whether, in addition to individual consent, collectivity leaders should be consulted;
• whether arrangements to address issues have followed a process of negotiation;
• issues of consent, privacy, confidentiality and harms within the collectivity;
• the ownership of data and the manner of dissemination of research findings; and
• the manner in which disagreements with the researcher will be resolved.


Are consent forms required for questionnaires?

No, completion of the questionnaire is considered consent


Can you record an interview for research?

ONLY WITH CONSENT - preferably in writing


When performing questionnaires in the community what does a researcher need to have on them?



Where do you need to get consent from in order to administer questionnaires in schools.

1st. criminal history check
2nd ask principle
3rd ask parents
4th ask children


When can flinders uni students who are aged 17 years participate in research without parental consent?

when the project is deemed to be low risk by the SBREC - and only if they are student.


What information should a researcher first say when administering a telephone survey?

• identify him/herself clearly and unambiguously;
• indicate his/her position in the University;
• briefly describe the nature of the research;
• ensure that the respondent is informed that he/she may to decline to participate, choose not to answer any particular question, or withdraw at any time; and
• guarantee the confidentiality of any data supplied and the anonymity of the participant.

(The respondent must be given the name and contact details of the Executive Officer of the Committee and allowed the time to verify the legitimacy of the project, if required.)


What does the research ethics committee need to know about the proposed research?

• The name, status and contact details of researchers involved in the study. If the researcher is a student, then information about degree and name of the supervisor(s) is also required.

• The title of the project and timeframe for collection of data.

• An outline of the project, including its significance, the research objectives, methodology and an explanation of how the methodology addresses the objectives.

• Information about participants, including who they are, how many will be approached and recruited, from what source and whether there are specific cultural or religious concerns. As outlined above, the Committee is concerned primarily for the welfare of participants and seeks to ensure that they are able to give informed consent.

• Specific ethical matters including those related to confidentiality and data storage.


After ethics approval, when collecting data when do you need to report to the ethics commitee?

1. Report immediately to the Social and Behavioural Research Ethics Committee anything which might affect ethical approval of the protocol, including:
• serious or unexpected adverse effects on participants; or
• unforeseen events that might affect continued ethical acceptability.

2. Submit annual progress and/or final reports as required by the National Statement on Ethical Conduct in Human Research (May 2007).

3. Request approval of any proposed changes in the research protocol.

4. Inform the Executive Officer of the Social and Behavioural Research Ethics Committee, giving reasons, if the research project is discontinued before the expected date of completion.