Lesson Plan

Research Ethics

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Psychologists designing experiments to research human behavior must consider weighty ethical concerns. Class members act as members of an institutional review board and examine proposals to determine whether included provisions properly safeguard participants.

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CCSS: Adaptable
Instructional Ideas
  • To prepare for the activity, assign the worksheet as homework and then divide the class into groups and give each one of the proposals to discuss
  • To underscore the importance of research ethics, ask class members to research the results of the 1971 Stanford prison experiment
Classroom Considerations
  • Be prepared to discuss your schools' policy on showing sexually explicit clips
  • Assumes class members have previously studied cost-benefit analysis
  • For each of the three proposals, class members are asked to consider both the benefits and potential harms of the experiment
  • Neither an answer key nor annotated notes are provided for instructors