When conducting research with human participants, researchers must conduct themselves ethically.
Therefore, there are a few rules that must be followed. Some of these rules are listed below. Then,
there are 5 situations which might pose ethical dilemmas. Responding to 1 situation in a 1-2 page
reflection counts for one assignment and as noted above is worth up to 15 points. Responses that
are less than one full page (1 inch margins, 12-point Times New Roman font, double spaced) will
not receive full credit.
After reading through the general principles of ethical research listed below, you can select which
situation you would like to write about in a reflection paper. Based on the general principles, you
must explain how you feel about the situation, what is necessary for the researchers to do, and how
the situation could be improved.
General Principles of Ethical Research:
• Participation must be voluntary.
• Participants must be protected from undue harm.
• Informed consent of participants means they have a complete understanding of possible
risks involved in the study.
• The participants’ identity must be protected.
• Deception of participants must be fully justified and be followed with adequate debriefing.
Choices of Situations to Write about in the Reflection Paper: 1. Employees are required by their organization to participate in a study. Failure to do so could
result in retaliation by management. 2. Participants are told that there will be no physical harm resulting from participation.
However, some of the questions participants are asked could bring up emotional issues.
3. People are not clear what is expected of them when they agree to participate in the study.
4. Participants’ e-mail addresses are requested as a way to give credit to students. 5. A study looking at whether people can tell when a stranger is lying is being conducted.
Therefore, some participants will be told lies about the study.
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