This chapter uses material from an open access human research ethics e-course developed with the support of an Open Access Teaching Award from the University of Southern Queensland. The original authors were Tanya Machin, Charlotte Brownlow, and Annmaree Jackson. The e-course can be found at https://open.usq.edu.au/course/view.php?id=400 or by directly contacting Tanya at Tanya.Machin@usq.edu.au or Charlotte at Charlotte.Brownlow@usq.edu.au.
Ethical conduct in psychology research in Australia is guided by National Statement on Ethical Conduct in Human Research, as well as professional codes of conduct. This resource provides a useful reconciled resource. We recommend its inclusion in your institutions resource library.
To help you work your way through the chapter, we’ve divided it into several sections, including: ‘Why Do We Have Research Ethics?’, ‘Research Methodology and Risk Management’, ‘Recruitment and Data Collection’, ‘Data and Information Management’, and ‘Merit, Integrity, and Monitoring’. We will then provide a brief overview of the APS code to close the chapter off. Throughout the chapter, we’ll provide some case studies, pose questions for you to reflect on, and perhaps even test your ethical knowledge! Finally, the information contained in this chapter comes from an open access e-course that we wrote. If you have any questions about the e-course or want to use it in your course or program, please contact the authors directly.
WHY DO WE HAVE RESEARCH ETHICS?
The history of human experimentation is sometimes considered to be a dark one, with many documented examples of ill-conceived and inhumane medical and psychological experimentation on human beings. While considered ‘unethical’ by today’s standards, these experiments have led to the development and refinement of various national and international laws and guidelines that govern ethical human research.