The world is full of questions. People are constantly searching for answers. People read, explore, and investigate to find answers. Researchers are professionals who search for answers but they are governed by rules and regulations on how to set up studies to find answers. Ethics are the guidelines or standards used by researchers when setting up a study. Ethical research studies abide by the guidelines set up by the American Psychological Association (APA). They need to understand concept of risk to benefit ratio. One of the ethical guidelines explored in this paper is informed consent and the impact on psychological research. Under the APA Ethical Principles of Psychologists and Code of Conduct, section 8.02 explains informed consent. Research is important but guidelines are necessary to protect the researchers and the participants and to make sure the results are valid and reliable.
Many refer to ethics as the moral stature of what a person believes is right or wrong. Ethics do help a reasonable person refrain from doing what society has determined to be wrong such as murder or rape, as well as other wrongs and they influence morals, beliefs and principles. Ethics are logical and rational standards of right and wrong that guide a human being by determining what a person should do. Standards of ethics include accepted basic rights, obligations, value to society, objectivity, justice, or specific moralities. Ethics include qualities such as honesty, compassion, and loyalty as well as rights such as right to life and right to privacy. Ethical standards are supported by consistent and substantiated explanations. Ethics are a continuous study within one’s self to ensure one’s standards are reasonable, practical, and understandable. Frequently reflecting on one’s morals, beliefs, and values and how one lives life, will ensure the person is living up to the standards he or she believes.
Prior to all studies one must consider if the proposed study is ethical. The proposed study must be reviewed and the process will determine if the study meets ethical guidelines, the risks, and the benefits. In 1974, the National Research Act was signed creating the Protection of Human Subjects of Biomedical and Behavioral Research. All institutions receiving federal funds must establish a committee to review proposed studies. Colleges and Universities established an Instructional Review Boards (IRB). Laws have also been enacted to protect animal subjects. The committee members must be unbiased and have no personal interest in the study or the outcome. The study will be reviewed by the committee who will determine if the if ethical guidelines are being followed and will weigh the risk of the study against what the possible results will be and the benefit to human life. The committee decides if the study is “minimal risk” or “at risk”. All participants need to be protected regardless of the risk factor. Minimizing the risk may...