Why do ethical concerns often arise in the conduct of research? Do you think there is a way of avoiding them in social science research?
2. Place yourself in the position of a social science researcher who is contemplating a controversial investigation. First, of course, you must come up with a controversial topic (something causing a lot of debate among people).
a. Here is one example: There has been much talk recently about electronic surveillance of people who have broken the law; why not implant “beepers” in the bodies of those who are convicted criminals in order to monitor their behavior? Obviously, there are ethical considerations here, including the possibility of violating people’s constitutional rights. But would this strategy work? Would such a practice lead to a reduction in our nation’s crime rate?
This is a good example of the ethical dilemma of the social scientist: the right to research versus the right of research participants to self-determination, privacy, and dignity.
b. Now you select a different controversial issue, and then examine the COSTS VERSUS BENEFITS of the research that would be conducted. Use the example given above as a guide. Review the PowerPoint Slides on “cost versus benefits” and pattern your response to it
3. Imagine that you are working in a drug and alcohol rehabilitation center. A proposal is made to begin using a revised treatment program that shows promise but is as yet untested. Consider whether an experimental approach to testing the new program would be appropriate (e.g., a control group that does not receive any treatment)? Further, evaluate what conditions would be ethically acceptable. How might you avoid some of the ethical dilemmas associated with withholding treatment, while still using some form of control group for a comparison
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