Answer to Question #115359 in Psychology for Collin

Question #115359
What is the role of ethics in cognitive psychology?
Expert's answer


Psychological research extends the territory of

psychology by contributing to the social order through the invention of

original theories on individual conduct, progress, and intellect. Psychological

researchers use humans and animals as specimens thus calling for the role of ethics

in ensuring justice and dignity towards the study matters.

Ethics requires that a researcher follow laid down

regulations in the conduct of research, ensuring conscience and allegiance to

professionalism. Wide consultations, literature reviews, and omission reviews

boards of research proposals characterize ethically sound psychological


How ethics influence Psychological Research.

Risk analysis on the intended research activity is

necessary to weigh the total benefits and risks of the proposed study to the

subjects in terms of privacy and nurturing the reputation psychology as a

profession. Some research problems pose multifaceted methodological and ethical

challenges that warrant an overhaul of the existing ethical procedures in

psychological research (Stanley, Sieber & Nelton, 1996).

Most of the ethical guidelines revolve around informed

consent, confidentiality, and consequences and the responsibility of the

researcher. Informed consent involves the question of sufficient information

and when appropriate.

Complete information on the purpose and design of

research proposal counteracts deception of the participants (Willig

&Rogers, 2008).Confidentiality ensures that any data about individual are

completely blinded to the last information product to be published. The

uncertainties in every research deserve elimination, be they quantitative or


These reservations, can applied as framework in the

drafting of research protocols. Submission of qualitative study to ethical

review committees makes researchers internalize the values, issues, and ethical

dilemmas in his/her project.

There are various categories of psychology focusing on

different ethical issues. In experimental psychology, ethics tend to protect

subjects used in laboratory-based research, usually living study subjects.

Conversely, critical psychological approaches do develop on the specific ethics

in psychology, psychologists, as well as knowledge in psychology (Willig &

Rogers, 2008).

Another imperative aspect is the experts and

psychological approaches. Ethics allows for standardization of research process

by ensuring values and facts form the benchmarks of any research work. During

the choice of research topic, formulation of the design, collection, and

analysis of relevant data, explanation, and distribution of the findings,

ethics outlines the right traits of a researcher.

Furthermore, ethics elaborates how to treat research

subjects with dignity and justice, giving investigation a wide acceptability

from the subjects and society in general.

Critical psychology gives a broad view of the role of

ethics in psychology. It argues that ethics do not only play part in practical

research but also in political arenas. Politics touches on all most segments of

human life and sometimes can be very emotive and this calls for ethical

considerations when dealing with a society guided by norms and values.


Ethical considerations give research participants a

chance to explain what a research purpose and methodologies involves, together

with the use of deception.

It also outlines how to deal with any possible negative

effects the research has had on participants and rationally allowed to give

informed consent to undertake, portraying aspect of fairness and keeping at bay

cases of deceptions. Legitimate social-psychological research can help propose

facts to help society and individuals make decisions about moral or ethical


Scientists often differ about the application of research

findings in the society; each one of them is therefore at his or her discretion

to judge how such findings can best serve society. This is how ethics guides the

researchers to apply what is positive to the society regarding findings of a

research activity.


Stanley, B., Sieber, J. $ Nelton, G. (1996). Research ethics: a psychological approach.

New York, NY: University of Nebraska Press

Willig, C. & Rogers, W. (2008). The SAGE handbook of qualitative research in

psychology. London: SAGE.

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