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Research: Ethical Considerations

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  • Category: Ethics

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* Descriptive — survey, historical, content analysis, qualitative
* Associational — correlational, causal-comparative
* Intervention — experimental
* Functions of Research Research corrects perceptions as well as expands them. Research gathers information on subjects or phenomena we lack or have little knowledge about. Research develops and evaluates concepts, practices and theories. * 6. Research also develops and evaluates methods that test concepts, practices and theories. Research obtains knowledge for practical purposes like solving problems on population explosion, drug addiction, juvenile delinquency and the like. Functions of Research * 7. Research provides hard facts which serve as bases for planning, decision-making, project implementation and evaluation.

Functions of Research * 8. Relationship of Research & Mankind Problems The development of the society from its simple to its complex state will reveal the many and varied problems which afflict human kind. Thus, solutions to problems must be based on knowledge, not on mere beliefs, guesses or theories. To acquire knowledge and to continuously evaluate its accuracy and usefulness requires a well planned and systemic procedure on which research has been devised to meet this need. * 9. Research is a human device invented and developed not only to push far the limit the human knowledge but to improve the quality of individual and group life. This underscores the importance of research, the continued existence and relevance of which will last as long as there is human being who wishes to expand his knowledge and understanding about the world and everything therein. Relationship of Research & Mankind Problem

* • Quantitative research is asking people for their own opinions on something but in a structured way. The research has to be structured so that you can produce statistics and hard facts. Often with quantitative research a large survey of many different people would be carried out, this has to match the target market. Quantitative research typically includes customer surveys and questionnaires. Quantitative research is important because it will help you to see if there is a market for your product also what type of people are your best costumers. * 3. • Qualitative research is to find out the ‘why’, rather than the ‘how’ of the chosen topic. Qualitative research does this by analysing unstructured information such as: emails, feedback forms, interview transcripts and more. Unlike quantitative research, qualitative research does not rely on statistics or numbers.• * 4. • Secondary research is existing research, as opposed to research collected directly from ‘research subjects’, that occurs when a project or topic requires a collection of existing data.

Secondary research could include previous newspapers, magazines, research reports, film archives, photo libraries, worldwide web, searching internet forums and government and NGO statistics. Secondary research is carried out to determine what is already known and what new data is required. Secondary research is important so that we are able to compare existing research with new research if needed. * 5. • Primary research includes interview techniques, observations, questionnaires, surveys, types of questions, focus groups, audience panels, participation in internet forums. Primary research it he opposite to secondary research. It is research that is collected from ‘research subjects’ Primary research is important as it allows people to gather new information that is more relevant to the time. * 6. • BARB was set up in 1981 to provide the industry standard television audience results service for broadcasters and the advertising industry.

BARB is owned by BBC, ITV, Channel 4, Channel 5, BSkyB and the IPA (Institute of Practitioners in Advertising) and is a not for profit company limited by guarantee. * 7. • Is the official body in charge of measuring the amount of people listening to a radio station. It is owned by the BBC and the RadioCentre.• There are approximately 310 individual stations on the survey and results are published regularly.• RAJAR is important because it allows radio stations to see how popular there station is. * 8. • Self-generated research is where you collect information/evidence through your own record of events. I.e. video, audio or photographic. Self generated research is important because it teaches a person how to collect information by themselves.

A lot of university work requires self-generated research. * 9. • Audience research is collecting information from your certain target audience for a specific product, pitch/presentation and or service. As audience research is based around your target audience it is a very important type of research. Potential buyers are always the most important and knowing there feedback is valuable information. * 10. • Market research is organised research to gather information on customers and buyers. Market research, includes social and opinion research. Market research is important because it allows companies to get advantage over competitors. Market research provides important information to identify and analyse the market need, market size and competition. * 11. • Production research basically involves finding information that can be used to discover the many aspects of a play. For example things such as; its context, author, critical analysis and interpretation, production history, images and sounds, and sources, influences, and analogues. Production research is important because it allows someone to understand the play in more detail.

SUMMARY: State your topic as a question. For example, if you are interested in finding out about use of alcoholic beverages by college students, you might pose the question, “What effect does use of alcoholic beverages have on the health of college students?” Identify the main concepts or keywords in your question. More details on how to identify and develop your topic.

SUMMARY: Look up your keywords in the indexes to subject encyclopedias. Read articles in these encyclopedias to set the context for your research. Note any relevant items in the bibliographies at the end of the encyclopedia articles. Additional background information may be found in your lecture notes, textbooks, and reserve readings. More suggestions on how to find background information.

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SUMMARY: Use guided keyword searching to find materials by topic or subject. Print or write down the citation (author, title,etc.) and the location information (call number and library). Note the circulation status. When you pull the book from the shelf, scan the bibliography for additional sources. Watch for book-length bibliographies and annual reviews on your subject; they list citations to hundreds of books and articles in one subject area. Check the standard subject subheading “–BIBLIOGRAPHIES,” or titles beginning with Annual Review of… in the Cornell Library Classic Catalog. More detailed instructions for using catalogs to find books. Finding media (audio and video) titles.

Watch on YouTube: How to read citations

SUMMARY: Use periodical indexes and abstracts to find citations to articles. The indexes and abstracts may be in print or computer-based formats or both. Choose the indexes and format best suited to your particular topic; ask at the reference desk if you need help figuring out which index and format will be best. You can find periodical articles by the article author, title, or keyword by using the periodical indexes in the Library home page. If the full text is not linked in the index you are using, write down the citation from the index and search for the title of the periodical in the Cornell Library Classic Catalog. The catalog lists the print, microform, and electronic versions of periodicals at Cornell. How to find and use periodical indexes at Cornell.

Watch on YouTube: How to read citations
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Nearly everyone is aware of and uses Google and its branches, Google Scholar, Google Books, Google News, YouTube, etc., to search and find information on the open Internet (as opposed to the subscription-only resources you will encounter in steps 2 through 4 above). Here are links to other search engines. You can also check to see if there is a research guide (a subject guide or a course guide) created by librarians specifically for your topic or your class that links to recommended resources.

SUMMARY: See How to Critically Analyze Information Sources and Distinguishing Scholarly from Non-Scholarly Periodicals: A Checklist of Criteria for suggestions on evaluating the authority and quality of the books and articles you located. Watch on YouTube: Identifying scholarly journals Identifying substantive news sources If you have found too many or too few sources, you may need to narrow or broaden your topic. Check with a reference librarian or your instructor. When you’re ready to write, here is an annotated list of books to help you organize, format, and write your paper.

Give credit where credit is due; cite your sources.
Citing or documenting the sources used in your research serves two purposes, it gives proper credit to the authors of the materials used, and it allows those who are reading your work to duplicate your research and locate the sources that you have listed as references. Knowingly representing the work of others as your own is plagiarism

Three Types of Research1. Causal Reseach
When most people think of scientific experimentation, research on cause andeffect
is most often brought to mind. Experiments on causal relationshipsinvestigate the effect of one or more variables on one or more outcome variables. This type of research also determines if one variable causes another variable tooccur or change. An example of this type of research would be altering theamount of a treatment and measuring the effect on study participants. 2. Descriptive ResearchDescriptive research

seeks to depict what already exists in a group or population. An example of this type of research would be an opinion poll todetermine which Presidential candidate people plan to vote for in the nextelection. Descriptive studies do not seek to measure the effect of a variable; theyseek only to describe. 3.Relational Research

A study that investigates the connection between two or more variables isconsidered relational research.
The variables that are compared are generallyalready present in the group or population. For example, a study that looked atthe proportion of males and females that would purchase either a classical CD or a jazz CD would be studying the relationship between gender and musicpreference.

For a full version of the APA guideline, read “Ethical Principles of Psychologist and Code of Conduct” published in the American Psychologist, 47 (1992). The following summarizes some of the key principles put forth by the APA. Included in the summary are issues raised by the HHS regarding the IRB requirements in their “Guidelines for Use of Humans as Research Participants” (1982).

Planning Research
In planning and conducting research, as well as in reporting research findings, experimenters have to fulfill several obligations in order to meet the ethical standards set forth by the APA. First, the research project must be planned so that the chance for misleading results is minimized. Second, the project must be planned so that it meets ethical acceptability. Any doubts the researcher may have regarding questionable ethical procedures or methods must be resolved through peer review or through consultation with appropriate parties such as the IRB. Third, steps must be taken to protect and ensure the dignity and welfare of all participants, as well as those who may be affected by the results of the research project.

Psychologists, as well as their assistants, are responsible for maintaining the dignity and welfare of all participants. This obligation also entails protecting them from harm, unnecessary risks, or mental and physical discomfort that may be inherent in the research procedure. Research that poses potential harm, risk, or danger to the participant is not allowed, unless the benefit of the research outweighs the risks and full informed consent is given. Psychologists and their assistants are also responsible for conducting themselves ethically and for treating the participants in an ethical manner at all times. In addition, psychologists and their assistants may only perform those activities or tasks for which they are appropriately trained. If special populations are needed, for example, children, the elderly, or clinical populations, it is the researcher’s responsibility to consult with those who have expertise with those populations.

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State and Federal Laws
All research conducted by psychologists and their assistants must comply with state and federal laws and regulations. For example, if the state in which the research is conducted prohibits the consumption of alcohol by anyone under the age of 21, the research project cannot involve giving alcohol to participants under the legal age.

Inducement to Participate
If the researcher offers financial or other inducement to participants in order to obtain participants for the project, the same full disclosure policy regarding the purpose and nature of the study, including the use of deception, applies as when no inducement is made. For example, just because the participant receives $5.00 for taking part in a research project, the experimenter must still inform the participant about the nature of the study, including any risks or harm that the study may create. In addition, inappropriate or excessive inducement is unethical. For example, if I am desperately in need of participants for a research project (which has happened on occasion), I cannot “bribe” the students in my psychology classes by saying that anyone who participates will receive an automatic “A” in the class.

Reporting Results and Plagiarism
Ethical researchers do not fabricate or falsify data in their publications. If the experimenter discovers that the data published are erroneous, it is the experimenter’s responsibility to correct the error through retraction, an addendum, or other appropriate means. In addition, ethical researchers do not present the work of others as their own, or do not fail to give appropriate credit for the work of others through citations.

Institutional Approval
In the United States, all institutions that conduct research and receive federal funding must have an institutional review board (HHS, 1982). At universities and colleges, the IRB is made up of individuals from a wide variety of departments so that the board will not have a vested interest in any particular research project. For example, an IRB cannot be made up of members of the Psychology Department only. If it were, then it would be more difficult for it to remain neutral when evaluating a particular research proposal by a psychology department faculty member.

Prior to conducting the study, the researcher prepares a proposal, which is then submitted to the IRB for approval. The proposal includes a description of the purpose and nature of the study, how the participants will be acquired and treated, and what they will be told to expect in the study. In addition, a sample consent form is also required at most institutions. A sample IRB proposal can be seen in Figure 4.1, although proposal forms do vary from institution to institution.

Once the IRB receives the proposal, it is reviewed for ethical considerations. For example, does the project have scientific, educational,
and/or societal value? If it involves some risk, is the risk to the participant justified by the benefit of the knowledge gained? Is the proposed study ethical in terms of respecting the participants’ welfare and dignity and their right to privacy and confidentiality? Is deception used, and if the answer is yes, is the Informed Consent

According to the APA ethical guidelines, certain research projects do not require the informed consent of participants. Such projects may entail the use of anonymous questionnaires or simple naturalistic observations where the participants cannot be personally identified or harmed in any way. In addition, archival research, which relies on published, publicly available data, does not require informed consent. All other research projects mandate the informed consent of participants, which is typically achieved by having them sign a consent form.

The consent form embodies several key principles of the APA guidelines. The participants are told about the general nature of the study as well as about any potential harm or risk that the study may cause. They are assured of confidentiality, and they are also told that they are free to decline participation. In addition, they are offered the opportunity to receive a report about the results and conclusions of the research project. Consent forms vary from institution to institution, as do IRB proposal forms. A sample form can be seen in Figure 4.2. Notice how the consent form briefly describes the study by stating that the participants will take part in an experiment on human memory. Note also that it assures the participants that there are no risks involved and that the study was approved by the IRB. It also tells the participants what they can expect to occur and what is expected of them as participants. The statement regarding the coding of the data to protect the participants’ identity is intended to alleviate concerns about privacy and confidentiality. In addition, the participants are told that they may withdraw from the study at any time without penalty and that the results of the experiment will be made available to them should they wish to receive them

Consent and Cyberspace
An interesting recent development is the ability to conduct research on the World Wide Web (WWW). Since the participants log on to an experimental site either from home or from their college campus, they cannot of course be handed a consent form to sign prior to participation. However, as E. Miller (1999) points out, this issue has been successfully resolved through electronic consent forms, which the participants read online prior to agreeing to participate in the study. The electronic consent form can be signed or initialized electronically, or it can be accepted by default. Therefore, whether the participation takes place online or in the laboratory, the participants are still informed about the nature of the project and must give their consent prior to data collection. In addition, at the end of the experimental session, the participants are given the option to electronically transmit their data or not to transmit.

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