CAS 301 Week 3 Notes
CAS 301 Week 3 Notes CAS 301
Cal State Fullerton
Popular in Inquiry & Methodology in Child Development
Popular in Child and Adolescent Studies
This 16 page Class Notes was uploaded by Caru on Friday September 9, 2016. The Class Notes belongs to CAS 301 at California State University - Fullerton taught by Sarana Roberts in Fall 2016. Since its upload, it has received 8 views. For similar materials see Inquiry & Methodology in Child Development in Child and Adolescent Studies at California State University - Fullerton.
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Date Created: 09/09/16
CAS 301 Week 3 Chapter 3: Ethics in Behavioral Research ● Ethical practice is fundamental to the conceptualization, planning, execution, and evaluation of research ● Not considering the ethical implications of a project risks harming individuals, communities, and behavioral science ● Milgram’s Obedience Experiment ● Stanley Milgram conducted a series of studies (1963, 1964, 1965) to study obedience to authority > called it a “scientific study of memory and learning” ● One person would be the teacher and the other would be the learner ○ Drawing for parts was rigged > the learner was always a man named Mr. Wallace, who was an accomplice of Milgram ● Electrodes were attached to Mr. Wallace and the teacher was placed in front of a shock machine ● Mr. Wallace was given a series of word pairs and was tested to see if he could identify which words went together ● Every time Mr. Wallace got an answer wrong, the teacher had to deliver a shock via the machine > the voltage of the shock increased with each wrong answer ● If the teacher wanted to quit, the experimenter urged them to continue, using a series of verbal prods that stressed the importance of continuing the experiment ● Despite being called a “scientific study of memory and learning”, it was actually a study of whether participants would continue to obey the experimenter by administering ever higher levels of shock to the learner ● About 65% of the participants continued to deliver shocks all the way up to 450 volts ● The results have implications for understanding obedience in reallife situations, such as the Holocaust and the Jonestown mass suicide ● Historical Context of Current Ethical Standards Modern codes of ethics in behavioral and medical research have their origins in three important documents ○ The Nuremberg Code and Declaration of Helsinki ■ Nuremberg Trials were held to hear evidence against the Nazi doctors and scientists who had committed atrocities while forcing concentration camp inmates to be research subjects ■ The legal documents that resulted from the trial became known as the Nuremberg Code(a set of 10 rules of research conducted help prevent future research atrocities) ■ The Nuremberg Code did not have any enforcement structure or endorsement by professional organizations > not generally seen as applicable to general research settings ■ The World Medical Association developed a code known as the Declaration of Helsinki(1964) ● Broader application of the Nuremberg ● Included a requirement that journal editors ensure that published research conform to the principles of the Declaration ■ Neither document explicitly addresses behavioral research and were generally seen as applicable to medicine ■ Scientific community debated whether Milgram’s study was ethical ■ Tuskegee Syphilis(19321972) ● 399 African American men in Alabama were not treated for syphilis in order to track the longterm effects of the disease ● Not an isolated incidence > another study was done from 1946 to 1948 in Guatemala ○ Men and women of the study were infected with syphilis and then treated with penicillin ■ The Belmont Report was formed due to the public demand for action ● Current ethical guidelines for both behavioral and medical researchers have their origins in he Belmont Report: Ethical Principles and Guidelines for the Protection of Human Subjects of Research ● Defines the principles and applications ● Three basic ethical principles: ○ Beneficence ■ Research should have benefits ■ Risks should be minimal ■ Riskbenefit analysis ○ Respect for persons(a ■ Participants are treated as autonomous ■ Participants are capable of making their own decision about whether to participate ■ Potential participants should be provided with all information that might influence their decision to participate(informed consent) ○ Justice ■ There must be fairness in receiving benefits ■ There must be fairness in bearing the burdens ■ Applied in the selection of subjects for research ● APA Ethics Code ○ The American Psychological Association(APA) has helped to provide ethical principles and standards ○ Ethical Principles of Psychologists and Code of Conduct(APA Ethics Code) applies to psychologists ○ APA Ethics Code: Five Principles ■ Principle A: Beneficence and Nonmaleficence ● Maximize benefits and minimize any possible harmful effects of participation ● States “Psychologists strive to benefit those with whom they work and take care to do no harm. In their professional actions, psychologists seek to safeguard the welfare and rights of those with whom they interact professionally and other affected persons and the welfare of animal subjects of research.” ■ Principle B: Fidelity and Responsibility ● States “Psychologists establish relationships of trust with those with whom they work. They are aware of their professional and scientific responsibilities to society and to the specific communities in which they work.” ● Researchers make several implicit contracts with participants ○ Ex. if participant agrees to be there, the researcher should also be there; if participants are to receive course credit for participation, the researcher must immediately let the instructor know that the person took part in the study ● Important to maintain trust between participants and researchers ■ Principle C: Integrity ● States “Psychologists seek to promote accuracy, honesty and truthfulness in the science, teaching and practice of psychology. In these activities psychologists do not steal, cheat or engage in fraud, subterfuge or intentional misrepresentation of fact.” ■ Principle D: Justice ● States “Psychologists recognize that fairness and justice entitle all persons to access to and benefit from the contributions of psychology and to equal quality in the process, procedures and services being conducted by psychologists” ● Tuskegee Syphilis study and the study in Guatemala violated this principle ○ There was a cure for syphilis, but the penicillin was withheld from the patients ■ Principle E: Respect for People’s Rights and Dignity ● States “ Psychologists respect the dignity and worth of all people, and the rights of individuals to privacy, confidentiality, and selfdetermination” ● Must try to eliminate the effect on their work of biases ● Cannot knowingly participate in or condone activities of others based upon prejudices ● One of the ethical dilemmas in the Milgram study was that the participants didn’t know they were participating in an obedience study ● Assessment of Risks and Benefits ○ Riskbenefit analysis the examination of potential risks and benefits that are likely to result from the research ■ Risks include psychological or physical harm and loss of confidentiality; also includes the cost of not conducting the study ■ Benefits can be direct(educational benefit, acquisition of a new skill, or treatment for a psychological or medical problem), material(monetary payment, a gift, or even the possibility of winning a prize in a raffle), the satisfaction of being a part of a scientific investigation ○ Risks in Behavioral Research ○ Physical Harm ■ Rare, but possible ■ Many medical procedures fall into this category ● Ex. administering a drug such as alcohol or caffeine ■ The risks in such procedures require that great care be taken to make them ethically acceptable ■ There must be clear benefits that outweigh the potential risks ○ Stress ■ Psychological stress is more common than physical stress ■ Researchers must ask whether all safeguards have been taken to help participants deal with the stress ■ A debriefing session usually follows to address any potential problems that may arise during the research ○ Confidentiality and Privacy ■ Confidentiality is an issue when the researcher has assured subjects that the collected data are only accessible to people with permission ■ Researcher must carefully plan ways of coding data, storing data, and explaining the procedures to participants so there is no question concerning the confidentiality of the research ■ Invasion of privacy becomes an issue when the researcher collects information under circumstances that the subject believes are private ● Ex. observing people as they walk ● Informed Consent ○ Informed consent potential participants in a research project should be provided with all information that might influence their active decision of whether or not to participate in a study ○ Informed Consent Form ■ Checklist: ● Purpose of the research ● Procedures that will be used including time involved ● Risks and benefits ● Any compensation ● Confidentiality ● Assurance of voluntary participation and permission to withdraw ● Contact information for questions ■ Must be written so that participants understand the information ■ Should be written in simple and straightforward language ■ Should not be written in the first person > use second person(“you”) ○ Autonomy Issues ■ If a child is to participate, consent forms from both the parent and the child are required ■ Coercion is a threat to autonomy ● An incentive can sometimes be seen as coercion ○ Withholding Information and Deception ■ Providing too much information could invalidate the results of the study ■ Acceptable to withhold information that does not affect the individual's decision to participate ■ In some situations, informed consent is not necessary or possible ● Ex. observing the number of samesex and mixedsex study groups in a library ■ Deception occurs when there is active misrepresentation of information about the nature of a study ■ Informed consent may also bias the sample ● Ex. Milgram experiment ~ prior knowledge about the true goal of the experiment would have led to different results ○ Is Deception a Major Ethical Problem in Psychological Research? ■ Reasons for decrease in elaborate deception like in the Milgram experiment: ● More researchers have become interested in cognitive variables rather than emotions ● General level of awareness of ethical issues has led researchers to conduct studies in other ways ● Ethics committees at universities and colleges now review proposed research more carefully > elaborate develop is likely to be approved only when the research is important and there are no alternative procedures available ● The Importance of Debriefing ○ Debriefing occurs after completion of the study; opportunity for the researcher to deal with issues of withholding information, deception, and potential harmful effects of participation ■ Only way researchers can follow the guidelines in the APA Ethics Code ○ Opportunity for researcher to explain the purpose of the study and tell the results ● Institutional Review Boards ○ Institutional Review Board(IRB) is responsible for review of research conducted within the institution ■ Local review agencies composed of at least five individuals; at least one member must be from outside of the institution ○ Exempt Research ■ Research with no risk is exempt from review ■ Anonymous questionnaires, surveys, and educational tests are all considered exempt research ■ Researchers cannot decide by themselves if their research is exempt > IRB formulates a procedure to allow a researcher to apply for exempt status ○ Minimal Risk Research ■ Minimal risk the risks of harm to participants are no greater than risks encountered in daily life or in routine physical or psychological tests ■ Elaborate safeguards are less of a concern ■ Approval by the IRB is routine ○ Greater than Minimal Risk Research ■ Subject to thorough review by IRB ■ Complete informed consent and other safeguards may be required before approval is granted ■ Application to IRB must include: ● Description of risks and benefits ● Procedures for minimizing risk ● The exact wording of the informed consent form ● How participants will be debriefed ● Procedures for maintaining confidentiality ■ Even if a project is approved, there is continuing review ■ long term project = reviewed at least once a year ■ If there are any changes in procedures, researchers are required to obtain approval ● Research with Nonhuman Animal Subjects ○ Scientists argue that animal research benefits humans and point to many discoveries that would not have been possible without animal research ○ Very important and will continue to be necessary to study many types of research ○ Strict laws and ethical guidelines govern research with animals and teaching procedures in which animals are used ○ IACUC reviews animal research procedures and ensures that all regulations are adhered to ● Being an Ethical Researcher: The Issue of Misrepresentation ○ Fraud ■ Fraud the fabrication of data ■ Rare ■ Detected when other scientists cannot replicate the results of a study ○ Plagiarism ■ Plagiarism misrepresenting another’s work as your own ■ Must give proper citation of sources ■ Cannot paraphrase without acknowledging the source ■ Wordforword plagiarism when a writer copies a section of another person’s work word for word without providing quotation marks indicating that the segment was written by somebody else, nor a citation indicating the source of the information ■ Paraphrasing plagiarism words are not directly copied without attribution, but the ideas are copied without attribution Chapter 4: Fundamental Research Issues ● Validity: An Introduction ○ Construct validity concerns whether our methods of studying variables are accurate ○ Internal validity refers to the accuracy of conclusions about cause and effect ○ External validity concerns whether we can generalize the findings of a study to other populations and settings ● Variables ○ Variable any event, situation, behavior, or individual characteristic that varies ○ Any variable must have two or more levels or values ○ Ex. reading a book ■ Variable of word length = the number of letters of each word ■ Can be taken further > average word length used in paragraphs in the book ○ A psychologist might study the variables cognitive task performance, depression, intelligence, reaction time, rate of forgetting, aggression, speaker credibility, attitude change, anger, stress, age, and selfesteem ○ Some variables will have true numeric, or quantitative, properties ■ Ex. variables for the number of free throws made ○ Other variables identify different categories ■ Ex. gender = male and female ● Operational Definitions of Variables ○ Variables must be defined in terms of specific method used to measure or manipulate it ○ Operational definition the set of procedures used to measure or manipulate it ○ Ex. variable = bowling skill > operational definition = a person’s average bowling score over the past 20 games ○ Not all variables are easily operationalized ■ Ex. pain ■ Pain is subjective and cannot be directly observed ■ Pain is often measured by the McGill Pain Questionnaire, which has a long and short form ● The short form includes a scale of 0 to 5 with descriptors no pain, mild, discomforting, distressing, horrible, excruciating ● also has a line with end points of “no pain” and “worst possible pain” ● Offers sensory descriptors such as throbbing, shooting, and stabbing ● Typically used for adults ■ WongBaker FACES Pain Rating Scale is used when working with children over 3 ○ Two benefits in operationally defining a variable: ■ Forces scientists to discuss abstract concepts in concrete terms ● Can result in realization that the variable is too vague to study ■ Helps researchers communicate their ideas with others ● Communication is easier if there is agreement on what is meant by a term in the context of the study ○ Construct Validity ■ Construct validity the adequacy of the operational definition of variables: Does the operational definition of a variable actually reflect the true theoretical meaning of the variable? ● Relationships Between Variables ○ Many research studies investigate the relationship between two variables: Do the levels of variables vary systematically together? ■ Ex. Does playing violent video games result in greater aggressiveness? ○ When both variables have values along a numeric scale, the four most common relationships are: the positive linear relationship, negative linear relationship, curvilinear relationship, and no relationship ○ Positive Linear Relationship ■ Increases in the values of one variable are accompanied by increases in the values of the second variable ■ Smith and Shaffer(1991) Are fast talkers more persuasive? ● Students listened to a speech delivered at three different speech rates about raising the legal drinking age > Students initially disagreed with the position ● As the rate of speech increased, so did the amount of attitude change ● Results: higher speech rates are associated with greater amounts of attitude change ○ Negative Linear Relationship ■ Increases in the values of one variable are accompanied by decreases in the values of another variable ■ Latane, Williams, and Harkins(1979) studied “social loafing”(increasing the number of people working on a task may actually reduce group effort and productivity) ● Asked participants to clap and shout to make as much noise as possible ● Did this alone or in groups of two, four, or six people ● As the size of the group increased, the amount of noise made by each individual decreased ○ Curvilinear Relationship ■ Increased in the values of one variable are accompanied by systematic increases and decreases in the values of the other variable(the direction of the relationship changes at least once); also referred to as nonmonotonic function ■ Grant and Schwartz(2011) studied the relationship number of extroverts in a group and group performance ● Having more extroverts in a team is associated with higher performance, but only up to a point ● With too many extroverts, the relationship becomes negative as there is less and less task focus and a resulting effect on team performance ● Yielded an invertedU relationship ○ No Relationship ■ The graph is simply a flat line due to no relationship between the two variables ■ Freedman, Klevansky, and Ehrlich(1971) studied the relationship between crowding and task performance ● Unrelated variables may vary independently of one another ● Increases in crowding were not associated with any particular changes in performance ■ Correlation coefficient a numerical index of the strength of relationship between variables ● Important because we need to know how strongly variables are related to one another ○ Relationships and Reduction of Uncertainty ● Nonexperimental Versus Experimental Methods ○ How can we determine whether variables are related? ○ Nonexperimental method relationships are studied by making observations or measures of the variables of interest ■ Ex. asking people to describe their behavior, directly observing behavior, recording physiological response, or even examining various public records such as census data ■ Variables are observed as they occur naturally ■ A relationship between variables is established when the two variables vary together ● Ex. the relationship between class attendance and course grade ○ Experimental method direct manipulation and control of variables ■ Researcher manipulates the first variable of interest and observes the response ■ Ex. Ramirez and Beilock(2011) were interested in the anxiety produced by important “highstakes” examinations ● Anxiety may impair performance > important to find ways to reduce anxiety ● Tested hypothesis that writing test worries would improve performance on the exam ● All students took a math test and were then given an opportunity to take the test again ● To make it a “highstakes” test, students were led to believe that the monetary payout to themselves and their partner was dependent on their performance ● The writing variable was then manipulated > some students spent 10 minutes before the test writing about what they were thinking and feeling about the test; the other students(control group) sat quietly for 10 minutes before the test ● Results: students in the writing condition improved their scores; the control group’s scores decreased ● With this experimental method, the two variables not only vary together; one variable is introduced first to determine whether it affects the second variable ○ Nonexperimental Method ■ Also known as the correlational method because it allows us to observe the covariation between variables; examine whether the variables correlate or vary together ■ Not an ideal method when we ask questions about cause and effect ■ We know the two variables are related, but what can we say about the causal impact of one variable on the other? ● Problems: ○ It can be difficult to determine the direction of cause and effect ○ Researchers face the thirdvariable problem(extraneous variables may be causing an observed relationship) ○ Direction of Cause and Effect ■ Issue of temporal precedence ■ Knowledge of the correct direction of cause and effect in turn has implications for applications of research findings ● Ex. if exercise reduces anxiety, then taking an exercise program would be a reasonable way to lower one’s anxiety ● However, if anxiety causes people to stop exercising, simply forcing someone to exercise is not likely to reduce the person’s anxiety level ■ Direction is often not crucial because the causal pattern may operate in both directions for some pairs of variables ● Ex. similarity causes people to like each other; liking causes people to become more similar ○ The ThirdVariable Problem ■ When the nonexperimental method is used, there is the danger that no direct causal relationship exists ■ Ex. exercise may not influence anxiety, and anxiety may have no causal effect on exercise > known as a spurious relationship ■ Thirdvariable problem any variable that is extraneous to the two variables being studied ■ Ex. high income could allow more people more free time to exercise (and the ability to afford a health club membership) and also lowers anxiety ● If income is the determining variable, there is no direct causeandeffect relationship between exercise and anxiety ■ Alternative explanation for the observed relationship ■ Reduce validity of a study if present ■ When we know there is an uncontrolled third variable operating, it is called a confounding variable ● Confounded = intertwined; cannot determine which of the variables is operating in a given situation ○ Experimental Method ■ Reduces ambiguity in the interpretation of results ■ One variable is manipulated and the other is then measured ■ Independent variable the manipulated variable ■ Dependent variable the variable that is measured ■ Attempts to eliminate the influence of all potential confounding third variables on the dependent variable(control of extraneous variables) ● Achieved by making sure that every feature of the environment except the manipulated variable is held constant ● Any variable that cannot be held constant is controlled by making sure that the effects of the variable are random ○ Experimental Control ■ Experimental control all extraneous variables are kept constant ● If a variable is held constant, it cannot be responsible for the results of the experiment ■ Accomplished by treating participants in all groups in the experiment identically ○ Randomization ■ Randomization ensures that an extraneous variable is just as likely to affect one experimental group as it is to affect the other group ■ Participants are randomly assigned to a group to eliminate the influence of individual characteristics ● Important difference between the experimental and nonexperimental method ■ Any other variable that cannot be held constant is also controlled by randomization ■ Any difference between groups on the observed variable can be attributed to the influence of the manipulated variable ○ Internal Validity and Experimental Method ■ Internal validity the ability to draw conclusions about causal relationships from the results of a study ● Study has high internal validity when strong inferences can be made that one variable caused changes in the other variable ■ Strong causal inferences can be made more easily when the experimental method is used ■ Inferences of cause and effect require three elements: ● Temporal precedence ● Covariation between the two variables ● A need to eliminate plausible alternative explanations for the observed relationship ■ Inferences about causal relationships are stronger when there are fewer alternative explanations for the observed relationships ○ Independent and Dependent Variables ■ Independent variable = the cause ■ Dependent variable = the effect ■ Researchers manipulate the independent variable and see if the dependent variable changes in response ■ When plotted on a graph, the independent variable is always placed on the horizontal axis and the dependent variable is always placed on the vertical axis ■ Some research focuses primarily on the independent variable and its effect on numerous behaviors ■ Other research focuses on a specific dependent variable and how various independent variables affect that one behavior ■ Ex. jury size ● One researcher is interested in the effect of group size on a variety of behaviors ● Another researcher is interested solely in jury decisions and studies the effects of many aspects of the trials ● Choosing a Method ○ External Validity and the Artificiality of Experiments ■ External validity the extent to which the results can be generalized to other populations and settings ■ Can the results of a study be replicated with other operational definitions of the variables? ■ Can the results be replicated with different participants? ■ Can the results be replicated in other settings? ■ In a single study, internal validity is generally in conflict with external validity ● When establishing a causal relationship, a researcher is more interested in internal validity ■ Field experiment the independent variable is manipulated in a natural setting ● Advantage: independent variable is investigated in a natural context ● Disadvantage: the researcher loses the ability to control many aspects of the situation ○ Ethical and Practical Considerations ■ Instead of manipulating variables, such as childrearing techniques, researchers study them as they occur in natural settings ■ Areas such as divorce and the effects of alcoholism need to be studied but are nonexperimental ■ When such variables are studied, people are often categorized into groups based on their experiences(ex post facto) ○ Participant Variables ■ Participant variables characteristics of individuals, such as age, gender, ethnic group, nationality, birth order, personality, or marital status; also called subject variables and personal attributes ■ Nonexperimental variables, so they must be measured ● Ex. to study extraversion, you can have someone complete a personality test ○ Description of Behavior ■ Jean Piaget studied the behavior of his own children as they matured ● Created important theory of cognitive development ● Goal was to describe behavior rather than understand its causes ■ Meston and Buss’s(2007) study on the motives for having sex ○ Successful Predictions of Future Behavior ■ Measures can be designed to increase the accuracy of predicting future behavior ■ Research must be conducted to demonstrate that the measure does relate to the behavior ○ Advantages of Multiple Methods ■ No stud is a perfect test of a hypothesis ■ When multiple studies using multiple methods all lead to the same conclusion, our confidence in the findings and our understanding of the phenomenon are greatly increased
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