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Chapter 3 Moral Foundations of Ethical Research Analysis of Case Scenarios

Chapter 3 Moral Foundations of Ethical Research Analysis of Case Scenarios

For each of the following case studies, discuss the ethics involved in the study using the ethical framework presented in the attached reading.

Case No. 1: A developmental psychologist is conducting research on physiological correlates of orienting responses in newborn infants. What is his obligation with respect to sharing each child’s data with the child’s parents? Does it make a difference if the data suggest the presence of neurological abnormality in some participants?

Case No. 2: A local business is interested in making better decisions about which employees should be encouraged to pursue a career track in management. They ask a psychologist to administer and interpret personality tests that include measures of creativity, ego strength, and introversion/extroversion to a group of new employees. Should he honor this request? What issues are raised if the instruments used by the psychologist were developed using samples of white, middle-class men? What if the psychologist also is asked to administer an integrity test to evaluate each new employee?

Case No. 3: A psychologist who conducts research on jury characteristics has reported that potential jurors with specific demographic characteristics are more likely to render verdicts that favor the defense in certain types of felony cases. An attorney who is defending an accused rapist offers her a position as a consultant. She is asked to advise the defense team about which potential jurors should be eliminated during the voir dire process. Should she accept the position?

Case No. 4: A psychologist is a guest in a weekly radio “call-in” program. Listeners are invited to ask questions. During a show on treatment of depression, a listener calls with a “question” about someone he knows who seems “down.” He reports that this acquaintance has been missing work frequently, seems irritable most of the time, and has made comments about “getting out of the rat-race for good.” The psychologist, concerned that the caller may be actually speaking about himself, tells the caller that the friend is clinically depressed, is a likely suicide risk, and should be seen by a mental health professional as soon as possible. The psychologist then offers an appointment time in her schedule the following morning if the caller will bring his “friend” to the office for evaluation and referral to a local physician. Has she followed ethical guidelines in handling this situation?

Cases are from:

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