Ethical Research


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  • Not actually included in Federal statute language Duke, 1999. Last year 1 in TX, 1 in CA?
  • IRBs not too keen on oral consent. In “he said, she said” if person feels harm, persecution, or coercion, you’ll be in trouble.
  • Capacity: need to consider both. What about 17 yr old HS senior? Get parents ’ as well as his/hers Informed consent is also important in treatment, not just research. A person should be given full information when weighing the potential options for treatment. This applies to medication, education, IEPs, etc. Consent can always be withdrawn—it is never permanent Example from U IRB is on WebCT
  • Dangerous-inducing heart attacks, injecting with Plutonium, withholding Syphilis treatment. Psych harm—little Albert, gender identity studies.
  • Necessary: avoid Hawthorne effect, compensatory rivalry, other threats to internal & external validity Dehoaxing. Think of an example? Candid Camera! Desensitization can be done orally too, but is more systematic.
  • Poor Cyril Burt. Not only misrepresented estimates & results, completely fabricated data, had a fictitious research assistant (for years)—who was getting paid off of a grant (no one ’s sure what happened to the $) Scientific Sins Unethical standards—tough to judge old studies by today ’s standards if the standards of their time were different. Milgram, Zimbardo. Some research was unethical (or questionable) at time it was done. WWII Germany in concentration camps. Tuskeegee. Injection of Plutonium into people.
  • Trouble for Plagiarizing yourself? Not as plagiarizing, but as presenting as multiple works, when there is much overlap.
  • What is your reaction to this study? Do you think ethical practices were violated? How?
  • Ethical Research

    1. 1. Ethical Research By: Wylie J. D. Tidwell, M.A. Ph.D. (Candidate)
    2. 3. Definition of Ethics <ul><li>Professor John Chaffee states, </li></ul><ul><ul><li>“ ethics and morals are terms that refer to the principles that govern our relationships with other people: the ways we ought to behave . . . standards that we should employ in the decisions we make ” (Chaffee, 2009, p.307) </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Chaffee, J. (2009). Thinking Critically (9th ed.). Boston: Cengage Learning. </li></ul></ul>
    3. 4. Definition of Ethics <ul><li>Ethics is: </li></ul><ul><ul><li>“ how we treat each other, every day, person to person. If you want to know about a company’ ethics, look at how it treats people ---- customers, suppliers, and employees (Gini, 2010, p. 349). </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>“ Business is about people . . . Ethics is about how customers and employees' are treated” (Gini, 2010, p. 349). </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Gini, A. (2010). Moral Leadership and Business Ethics (2nd ed.) (G. R. Hickman, Ed.). Thousand Oaks, CA: Sage. </li></ul></ul>
    4. 5. Ethical Issue <ul><li>Terry Cooper </li></ul><ul><ul><li>describes an ethical issues as, “ when competing or conflicting ethical principles or values are embedded in a practical problem ” (Cooper, 2006) </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Cooper, T. (2006). The Responsible Administrator . San Francisco: Jossey-Bass. </li></ul></ul></ul>
    5. 6. Cooper's Ethical Decision-making model <ul><li>consists of four steps </li></ul><ul><ul><li>identifying an ethical problem </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>identifying possible courses of action </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>projecting the probable consequences </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>select the best fit </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>(Cooper, 2006, pp.29-30) </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Cooper, T. (2006). The Responsible Administrator . San Francisco: Jossey-Bass. </li></ul></ul></ul>
    6. 7. Equity <ul><li>“ demands remedies to redress historic injustices that have prevented or diminished access in the first place . . . there can be no fairness without equality . . . ” (Kranich, 2005) </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Kranich, N. (2007). Equality and equity of access: What ’ s the difference? Retrieved on October 18, 2010 from the American Library Association Web site: doi: 388396 </li></ul></ul>
    7. 8. Justice and Social Equity <ul><li>Equity is defined </li></ul><ul><ul><li>“ to include not just race and gender but ethnicity, sexual preference, certain mental and physical conditions, language, and variations in economic circumstances . . . [therefore] multiculturalism and diversity . . . suggest this broader definition of social equity” (Frederickson, 2005, p. 33). </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Frederickson, G. (2005). The state of social equity in American public administration. National Civic Review, 94 (4), 31-38. </li></ul></ul></ul>
    8. 9. Bentham’s Utilitarian Theory <ul><li>government must ensure “the happiness of some [but] must be [willing] to sacrifice for the happiness of others;” in other words, “government must seek the greatest happiness of the greatest number” (Postema, 2006, p.113). </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Postema, G. (2006). Interests, Universal and Particular: Bentham's Utilitarian Theory of Value. Utilitas, 18 (2), 109-133. </li></ul></ul>
    9. 10. Research in Action On vacation Back in one week
    10. 11. Institutional Review Board (IRB) <ul><li>Every institution where an individual might conduct research must have an IRB </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Most school districts have some type as well as Universities </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Primary goal is to protect the rights of research participants </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Some consider a goal to be to maintain integrity of research conducted through the institution </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Federal Government reviews IRBs and if finds problems will order cease and desist </li></ul><ul><ul><li>All research must be halted until further notice (exceptions are made for studies that would be harmful to abruptly stop) </li></ul></ul>
    11. 12. CONSENT HARM DECEPTION PRIVACY Ethics in Research
    12. 14. Consent <ul><li>Informed consent </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Subjects must know potential risks, benefits, conditions of participation, and ability to withdraw without penalty </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>If consent is not informed, it can be as bad as (or worse than) not getting consent at all </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Two types </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Direct or Substitute (3 rd party) </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>If the person has a legal guardian, need substitute </li></ul></ul><ul><li>When in doubt, ask for permission </li></ul><ul><li>Consent should always be obtained in writing </li></ul>
    13. 15. Elements of Consent <ul><li>Capacity </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Ability: individual is competent enough to understand, evaluate, and make a decision of whether to participate or not </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Age: > 18 or emancipated minor </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Information </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Is it complete/comprehensive and fully understood? </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Voluntariness </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Subjects have the choice to participate or withdraw and are aware of this choice </li></ul></ul>
    14. 16. Harm <ul><li>Subjects must be protected from harm, or at the least fully informed about the potential costs and benefits resulting from the harm </li></ul><ul><li>Research that is physically or psychologically dangerous is generally considered unethical </li></ul><ul><li>Care needs to be taken with subjects who are, or consider themselves to be, relatively powerless </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Children, elderly, w/ disabilities </li></ul></ul>
    15. 17. Harm (cont) <ul><li>There is no prespecified level for the unethical threshold of harm (e.g., 36 degrees or 12 pounds) </li></ul><ul><li>Consideration is in the cost/benefit ratio </li></ul><ul><ul><li>In general, make sure the benefits (from the study) outweigh the costs (to individual participants) </li></ul></ul>
    16. 18. Privacy <ul><li>Sensitivity of topic &/or data </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Can responses/results affect the subject ’ s life if known by others </li></ul></ul><ul><li>How public/private is the setting? </li></ul><ul><li>Public display of the data </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Personally identifiable information should be removed or changed </li></ul></ul>
    17. 19. Deception <ul><li>Often tied to the informed part of consent </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Omission: withhold information </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Commission: provide false information </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>I.e., lying </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Establishing false intimacy: subject feels a high degree of comfort because he/she does not know is “ on the record ” </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Using accomplices: someone helping the researcher that the subject doesn ’ t know is helping </li></ul></ul>
    18. 20. Deception (cont) <ul><li>Sometimes a degree of deception is necessary </li></ul><ul><ul><li>IRB needs to regulate </li></ul></ul><ul><li>When it is, subjects MUST be debriefed after the study </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Dehoaxing: researcher convinces (tells) each subject who was deceived that they were, in fact, deceived </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Desensitization: a systematic process of demonstrating that there was deception </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Suggest that behavior was a result of the circumstances </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Point out that subjects ’ behavior was not abnormal or unusual </li></ul></ul></ul>
    19. 21. Professionalism <ul><li>Cyril Burt </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Probably the most used non example of professional ethics </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Examples of unethical (by today ’ s standards) research abound </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Forging </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Reason why public presentation of data/results is important </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Trimming: smooth the data (change results for some subjects or eliminate them altogether) </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Cooking: only report findings that are supportive of the hypothesis </li></ul></ul>
    20. 22. Publishing <ul><li>Same results/study should not be submitted/published in more than one place </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Dual publication: in more than one place </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Partial publication: parts of a single study as if they were separate studies </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Portions of one publication should not be reprinted in another without permission </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Copyright laws are in effect </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Authorship—inclusion and order should be based on contribution </li></ul>
    21. 23. Breaches of Integrity <ul><li>All professional organizations have a code of ethics which includes procedures for reporting and dealing with violations </li></ul><ul><li>In cases of whistle-blowing, often the whistle-blower incurs as many or more negative repercussions than the person violating ethical practices </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Unless already has a good, well-known reputation </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Reputation often precedes researchers </li></ul><ul><ul><li>While there may be no overt repercussions, it may cost the person future jobs, funding, promotions, etc. </li></ul></ul>
    22. 24. Case Scenarios
    23. 25. Case 1: Alexis St. Martin <ul><li>“ The Intrepid Guinea Pig of the Great Lakes” </li></ul><ul><li>In 1822, accidentally shot in the gut and left with a permanent gastric fistula. </li></ul><ul><li>William Beaumont paid him room, board, and $150 a year for use of his stomach. </li></ul>
    24. 26. Case 2: Walter Reed ’s Yellow Fever Study <ul><li>Paid $100 in gold for participation. </li></ul><ul><li>$100 bonus for successful infection with yellow fever. </li></ul><ul><li>Payable to family in the event of death. </li></ul>
    25. 27. Case 3: You
    26. 29. Stanford Prison Experiment <ul><li>PI: Philip Zimbardo, Ph.D.; 1971 </li></ul>
    27. 30. Stanford Prison Experiment <ul><li>Purpose: </li></ul><ul><ul><li>To test the idea that the inherent personality traits of prisoners and guards were summarily key to understanding abusive prison situations. </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Experimental Questions: </li></ul><ul><ul><li>What happens when you put good people in an evil place? </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Does humanity win over evil, or does evil triumph? </li></ul></ul>
    28. 31. Stanford Prison Experiment <ul><li>Subjects answered a local newspaper ad calling for volunteers in a study of the psychological effects of prison life. </li></ul><ul><li>More than 70 applicants responded </li></ul><ul><ul><li>given diagnostic interviews and personality tests to eliminate candidates with psychological problems </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>24 college students met criteria </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Earned $15/day </li></ul>
    29. 32. Stanford Prison Experiment <ul><li>Randomly assign subjects to two groups: guards or prisoners. </li></ul><ul><li>The prisoners were then brought into our jail one at a time and greeted by the warden </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Each was systematically searched, stripped naked, deloused. </li></ul></ul><ul><li>The guards were given no specific training on how to be guards. </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Free, within limits, to do whatever they thought was necessary to maintain law and order in the prison. </li></ul></ul>
    30. 33. Stanford Prison Experiment <ul><li>Less than 36 hours into the experiment, one prisoner began suffering from acute emotional disturbance, disorganized thinking, crying, and rage. </li></ul><ul><li>On the 5 th night, visiting parents asked the PI to contact a lawyer in order to get their son out of prison. </li></ul><ul><li>Most prisoners were withdrawing and behaving in pathological ways </li></ul><ul><li>Some of the guards were behaving sadistically </li></ul><ul><li>Study was then stopped after 6 days. </li></ul>
    31. 34. Stanford Prison Experiment: Conclusions <ul><li>PI argued that the results demonstrate the impressionability and obedience of people when provided with a legitimizing ideology and social and institutional support. </li></ul><ul><li>Results supported a situational attribution of behavior; that is, the situation caused the participants' behavior, rather than anything inherent in their individual personalities. </li></ul>
    32. 35. Stanford Prison Experiment: Scientific Challenges <ul><li>Critics challenged the generalizability of the study. </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Small sample size (n=12 in each group) </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>The experiment would be difficult for other researchers to reproduce. </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Screening procedures could not exclude tendencies for sadism; so contrary to the PI ’s conclusions, the “experiment” itself may not have produced these behaviors. </li></ul></ul><ul><li>It was impossible to keep traditional scientific controls. </li></ul><ul><li>Examiner Bias: The PI was not merely a neutral observer, but influenced the direction of the experiment as its &quot;superintendent&quot;. </li></ul>
    33. 36. Stanford Prison Experiment: Scientific Challenges <ul><li>Questionable ecological validity: blindfolding incoming &quot;prisoners&quot;, not allowing them to wear underwear, not allowing them to look out of windows or use their names </li></ul><ul><li>Selection Bias: Western Kentucky U. (in a similar study later) found that students volunteering for a prison life study possessed dispositions toward abusive behavior. </li></ul><ul><li>The study was never published in a peer-reviewed journal </li></ul>
    34. 37. Stanford Prison Experiment: Ethical Challenges <ul><ul><li>What are the risks of participating in this research? </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Were they disclosed? Were they minimized? </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>What were the benefits – to society? </li></ul></ul>
    35. 38. The Common Rule <ul><li>“ An investigator shall seek such consent only under circumstances that provide the prospective subject or the representative sufficient opportunity to consider whether or not to participate and that minimize the possibility of coercion or undue influence.” </li></ul><ul><li>45 CFR 46.116 </li></ul>
    36. 39. Conclusion <ul><li>“ Ethics, then, tries to find a way to protect one persons individual rights and needs against and alongside the rights and needs of others ” (Gini, 2010, p. 347). </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Gini, A. (2010). Moral Leadership and Business Ethics (2nd ed.) (G. R. Hickman, Ed.). Thousand Oaks, CA: Sage. </li></ul></ul>
    37. 40. Ethics Video Consider the 4 main points: consent, harm, privacy, and deception