In practice, researchers are called upon to make ethical considerations and determine what is ethically right or wrong and distinguish between acceptable and unacceptable behaviors. Ethical considerations are necessary because the validity, integrity and reliability of research findings are based on the considerations. The public in general need to be assured that the researchers have adhered to the set principles that guide research findings and that human aspect such human rights, safety, health standards among others and issues such as animal welfare, conflict of issues and compliance with the law have been adhered to (Haslam & McGarty, 2014). For this reason, various committees have formulated in advance what constitutes ethical and unethical issues. However, it is worth noting that each research is examined on its own merits. To this extent, the International Union of Psychological Science implemented Universal Declaration of Ethical Principles for Psychologists that address some of the ethical issues encountered during research (Haslam & McGarty, 2014).
For my project on ADHD and productivity, there are four principles designed to regulate the conduct of the research that includes respect for dignity, integrity, competent caring for the well-being of persons and finally professional and scientific responsibilities to the society. These principles govern most of the professional bodies around the world, for instance, in Australia, the National Health and Medical Research Councils formulates its policies on these core values to include respect, justice, research merit, and beneficence (Haslam & McGarty, 2014). For this study to be approved, adherence to these principles will be mandatory.
Some of the ethical issues to be addressed in psychological research such as ADHD and productivity include breaches of confidentiality, deception, stress and invasive procedures. Research studies may cause stress to participants and researchers are advised to ensure that the stress caused does not fall outside the experimental session, and the research should minimize unnecessary stress. The proposed study should ensure that it does not breach the confidentiality and provide anonymity because participants give sensitive information such as relationship status and issues, sexual orientations, religious beliefs, and political attitudes among others. Researchers should refrain from deception because it affects the integrity of the research findings (Haslam & McGarty, 2014).
Social psychologists believe that deception is essential to control reactivity and are always tempted to give false information to the participants of the research. Deception causes stress to participants because they are still tricked to revealing information they would not otherwise provide. Invasive procedures refer to the experiments that may create a substantial change to the participants through processes such as prescription of drugs, insertion of devices such as recording equipment into participants' bodies or giving information such as the score on a personality test that may have adverse and lasting effects (Haslam & McGarty, 2014). For my research study, I will ensure that my participants are well informed of the aftermath and impact of the study.
Researchers should accept the fact that research may be harmful to the participants, and for the study to be approved, it must adhere to the principles that minimize risks and govern the ethical issues. The research should consider how fragile the participants and differentiate them from robust participants when assessing research risk. To seek approval for any study, the researchers should minimize risks and should be responsible for preventing the harmful effects of the research to participants (Haslam & McGarty, 2014). Participation should be influenced by informed consent and voluntary participation that requires participants to understand features of the research. The participant should also have the freedom to discontinue participation at any time.Participants need to be debriefed of the research and the goals it seeks to achieve. Debriefing ensures that no unnecessary deception tactics were employed. Finding consent of the participants involves informing the participants of the purpose, intent, and use of data collected, methods of data collection, sponsoring organizations and the potential risks to guarantee voluntary participation (Haslam & McGarty, 2014). The potential participants must also be competent to make decisions and should not be coerced into completing the research. For my research, I will ensure that my participants are qualified to make good decisions and that they are well informed on the purpose of the study.
In conclusion, I will pay close attention to the guidelines in place that regulate and control the moral values and ethical considerations when conducting the research. The ethical considerations are important as they influence the validity, integrity and reliability of the study. I will consider ethical issues such as confidentiality, deception, stress and invasive procedures, and adopt appropriate measures to handle them. I acknowledge the fact that the research may have some adverse effects on the participants and should, therefore, seek informed consent from participants before conducting any test. Research tests will only be approved if they minimize risks on the participants and adhere to the set rules that govern ethical issues.
Haslam, S. A., & McGarty, C. (2014). Research methods and statistics in psychology. Los Angeles: Sage.
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