Chapter 4 Set Research Methods

Describe what happened in the Tuskegee Syphilis Study and why it is important to Psychology
(1930ish) 600 African American men (400 with syphilis and 200 without) participated in a study by the U.S. Public Health Service. Researchers wanted to study the effects of syphilis long-term. The men were not informed they had syphilis, instead told they had ‘bad blood’. The researchers told the men they were being treated, but in fact were not. A painful procedure called a spinal tap was given to every participant so they could note the progress of the disease at one point, with the participants being lied to and told it was a ‘special treatment’ for their illness. 250 men signed up for the armed forces and were again diagnosed with syphilis and told to get it treated. The researchers interfered with the men getting the treatment and the men were not allowed to serve in the armed forces or receive GI benefits. In 1943, penicillin was approved to treat syphilis, yet this information was not given to the participants of the study. Men infected their wives, got sicker, and died.

This is important to Psychology because it outlines exactly what is not ethical or moral for researchers. We now have a set of guidelines preventing any research participant from coming to harm in the way they did in this experiment.

To be carefully informed about the study’s hypotheses. To inform participants afterward about a study’s true nature, details, and hypotheses.

What three categories of ethics violations are illustrated by the Tuskegee Syphilis study?
1. The participants were not treated respectfully. They were lied to and information (such as a cure to their disease) was withheld. Informed consent was not given.
2. The participants were harmed. They were not told about a treatment for the disease that, in later years of the study, could be easily cured.
3. The researchers targeted a disadvantaged social group. All of the men in the study were poor and African American.

What are two primary concerns that have been raised against the Milgram obedience studies? How did Milgram and his supporters counter these concerns?
1.) The study itself was extremely stressful to the teacher-participants.
2.) There were lasting effects of the study. Some participants were dramatically affected by learning that they were willing to harm another human being, simply because someone in authority told them to do it.

Milgram defended this by stating that most of the participants had stated they learned something valuable about themselves. Months later most were not suffering and still believed that they had learned something valuable and important.

What is the Belmont Report and what are its three principles.
(1976)This report outlines three main principles for guiding ethical decision making: respect for persons, beneficence, and justice.

Define principle of justice
An ethical principle from the Belmont Report calling for a fair balance between the kinds of people who participate in research and the kinds of people who benefit from it.

Define principle of respect for persons
An ethical principle from the Belmont Report stating that research participants should be treated as autonomous agents and that certain groups deserve special protection.

Define principle of beneficence
An ethical principle from the Belmont Report stating that researchers must take precautions to protect participants from harm and to promote their well-being.

Informed Consent
The right of research participants to learn about a research project, know its risks and benefits, and decide whether to participate.

The American Psychological Association has Five General Principles (of ethics) that all must follow, what are they?
1. Beneficence and nonmaleficence
2. fidelity and responsibility
3. integrity
5. respect for people’s rights and dignity

Define the ethical principle fidelity and responsibility
Establish relationships of trust; accept responsibility for professional behavior (in research, teaching, and clinical practice)

Define the ethical principle of integrity
Strive to be accurate, truthful, and honest in one’s role as researcher, teacher, or practitioner.

Define Institutional Review Board (IRB)
A committee responsible for interpreting ethical principles and ensuring that research using human participants is conducted ethically.
This includes at least 5 people who come from specified backgrounds. At least one member must be a scientist, one has to have academic interests outside the sciences, and one should be a community member who has no ties to the institution.

Define deception (in research)
The withholding of some details of a study from participants (deception through omission) or the act of actively lying to them (deception through commission)

Define Data fabrication
This occurs when instead of recording what really happened in a study (or instead instead of running a study at all), researchers invent data that fit their hypotheses.

Define Data Falsification
When researchers influence the study’s results, perhaps by selectively deleting observations from a data set or by influencing their research subjects to act in the hypothesized way.

Define Plagiarism
Representing the words or ideas of others as one’s own.

What are the three R’s of animal care guidelines
Replacement, Refinement, Reduction

Define replacement in terms of animal care guidelines
Researchers should find alternatives to animals in research when necessary. For example, some studies can use computer simulations instead of animal subjects.

Define Refinement in terms of animal care guidelines
Researchers must modify experimental procedures and other aspects of animal care to minimize or eliminate animal distress.

Define Reduction in terms of animal care guidelines
Researchers should adopt experimental designs and procedures that require fewest animal subjects possible.

Which two ethical principles of the APA are not included in the Belmont Report
Principle of integrity. Principle of fidelity and responsibility

Which of the following is not one of the three principles of the Belmont Report?

In a study of a new drug for asthma, a researcher finds that the group receiving the drug is doing much better than the control group, whose members are receiving a placebo. Which principle of the Belmont Report requires the researcher to also give the control group the opportunity to receive the new drug?

In order to study a sample of participants from only one ethnic group, researchers must first demonstrate that the problem being studied is especially prevalent in that ethnic group. This is an application of which principle from the Belmont Report?

Following a study using deception, how does the researcher attempt to restore an honest relationship with the participant?
By debriefing each participant in a structured conversation

Stanley Milgram’s original motivation in conducting his experiment was to understand:
How the German people could have permitted the extermination of Jewish people in WWII

The real experimental participant in Milgram’s study was:
The ‘teacher’ who administered fake electric shocks

Dr. Zimbardo states that he was ‘interested in what happens when you put good people in:”
An evil place

Dr. Zimbardo instructed the ‘prison guards’ that they
Could not use violence

A prisoner rebellion occurred
On the 2nd morning

When the ringleader of the rebellion told Dr. Zimbardo he wanted to leave, Dr. Zimbardo:
Asked the prisoner to think it over (and actually, to be his own personal snitch)

The ringleader of the ‘prison guards’ states that he took inspiration for his prison guard role from a character in the movie:
Cool Hand Luke

When one ‘prisoner’ went on hunger strike, the other ‘prisoners’ voted:
Against letting him out of solitary confinement.

The experiment was ended by Dr. Zimbardo after:
A fellow psychologist saw the ‘prison’

After the experiment, the ringleader of the ‘prison guards’ stated that he was shocked:
That none of the other guards had tried to check him (stop his behavior)

Professor Silva is a clinical psychologist who teaches a course in abnormal psychology at the university. He maintains a clinical practice and several of his current students are his clients. Which of the APA’s Five General Principles does this violate?
Question 5 options:


Fidelity and Responsibility


Respect for People’s Rights and Dignity

Fidelity and responsibility: a clinical psychologist who teaches in a university may not serve as a therapist to one of his or her classroom students, and psychologists must avoid sexual relationships with their students or clients.

Which of the following are two ethical issues raised by Milgram’s studies of obedience?
Question 7 options:

the pain of the electrical shocks experienced by the learners and the stress experienced by the teachers

the stress experienced by the teachers and the lasting effects of the study on the teachers

the distress felt by the experimenter who had to order the teacher to shock the learner and the pain of the electric shocks experienced by the learners

targeting of a disadvantaged group and the disrespectful treatment of participants

the stress experienced by the teachers and the lasting effects of the study on the teachers

Professor Hammond studies ethical behavior and designs a study to examine the amount of cheating at her school. At the beginning of class each day, she passes around a chart showing the dates of the class meetings, with boxes for students to initial if present. She photocopies the sheet after each class so that she can find if any students initial for days in the past that they were absent. She waits for interesting results before writing a proposal for the IRB. Which standard of Ethical Standard 8 of the APA does waiting to propose the study violate?
Question 10 options:

Offering Inducements for Research Participation

Institutional Approval

Informed Consent for Recording Voices and Images in Research


Institutional Approval because approval is required prior to conducting research.
Also, an answer not listed might be deception in research.
Psychologists do not conduct a study involving deception unless they have determined that the use of deceptive techniques is justified by the study’s significant prospective scientific, educational, or applied value and that effective nondeceptive alternative procedures are not feasible.
Psychologists explain any deception that is an integral feature of the design and conduct of an experiment to participants as early as is feasible, preferably at the conclusion of their participation, but no later than at the conclusion of the data collection, and permit participants to withdraw their data.

Debriefing may also be an answer here (if not for the last sentence)
Psychologists provide a prompt opportunity for participants to obtain appropriate information about the nature, results, and conclusions of the research, and they take reasonable steps to correct any misconceptions that participants may have of which the psychologists are aware.

When an experimenter actively lies to a participant, this is considered which of the following?

deception through commission

a clear violation of the APA principles

deception through omission

a violation of federal guidelines

deception through commission

Professor Kwan studies violence and designs a study of the effects of video game violence on children. She recruits low-income, Hispanic children from schools near the university to participate. Each child is assigned to play either a violent or non-violent video game two hours each evening for a month. The children’s teachers are asked to assess changes in behavior. To assure good participation, the participants are offered a chance to win a family trip to a major theme park. Which of the APA’s Five General Principles is violated by this incentive?

beneficence and nonmaleficence

fidelity and responsibility

respect for people’s rights and dignity


respect for people’s rights and dignity

Professor Kwan studies violence and designs a study of the effects of video game violence on children. She recruits low-income, Hispanic children from schools near the university to participate. Each child is assigned to play either a violent or non-violent video game two hours each evening for a month. The children’s teachers are asked to assess changes in behavior. Data analysis shows no effect of game type, but Professor Kwan knows that several children didn’t follow the procedure so he makes up data for them and then shows a significant effect. Which part of APA Ethical Standard 8 did the data violate?

Reporting of Research Results


Sharing Research Data for Verification

Deception In Research

Reporting of Research Results

Which principle from the Belmont Report and the APA’s Ethical Principles do animal rights activists draw upon to argue against the use of animals in experiments?
respect for persons

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