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Ethical Considerations in Research

  • Date Submitted: 05/12/2010 09:15 PM
  • Flesch-Kincaid Score: 44.5 
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Specific ethical considerations and practical issues that I will need to consider in planning my research design.

According to research (Gillespie, n.d.), there are three areas of risks involved in social research. First, my participants could be harmed as a result of their involvement in the study. The potential harm could include death or injury, stress, guilt, reduction in self-respect or self-esteem, unfair treatment, withheld benefits, and minor discomfort. Second, professional relationships and the knowledge base could be damaged. These risks could include falsification of data, plagiarism, abuse of confidentiality, and deliberate violation of regulations. Third, problems could result for the community or the society. Societal risks may involve the effect of cultural values and beliefs on the knowledge produced and the impact of that knowledge on society.
Gillespie also reports that research could harm special populations such as religious groups, racial or ethnic minorities, and individuals considered deviant. The data could create or reinforce the conditions of victimization or scapegoating. This is why individual researchers, professional associations, and the government have taken steps to minimize the risks encountered in research. Most of the effects are focused on protecting the participants.
In order to protect the participants in my study of, I would include informed consent for my participants. This is to make them aware of the design and procedures with enough details to exercise a rational decision to participate. The informed consent would also include the knowledge that participation is voluntary and my participants could withdraw from the study at any time ((Leedy & Ormrod, 2001). I would also screen my participants ahead of time before choosing, because this would provide me with the opportunity to select individuals for my study that showed a high tolerance for potential risks that may be involved (Gillespie, n.d.).

As a researcher,...

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