The Top Three
f. Respect confidentiality and privacy
In the study of sexual behavior, investigators or researchers must honor the sentiments and privacy of individuals. They should never press for a subjects’ reluctance to report what they might regard as deviant behavior. Asking questions that can hurt an individual is construed as unethical. Every individual is entitled to privacy and confidentiality, and it is unethical to pressure them to reveal their personal and sensitive data under the Data Protection Act of 1998 (Canterbury Christ Church University, 2006). Disclosure should be the choice of individuals, and it is up to them what they want to reveal and they want to withhold. Therefore, it is among the three top unethical practices. While a number of guidelines are introduced to ensure correct practices, they are at times misrepresented and neglect the interests of individuals (Geppert, 2007)
g. Deceit and Social Responsibility
In this case, the researcher should not have kept the discovery of his research quiet. There are two unethical practices committed by the researcher; one is to deceive the participants and authorities of the finding, which can have an impact on future use of marijuana; and two, it is the social responsibility of the researcher to disclose such discoveries (Resnik, 2011). Marijuana is a banned substance and once a researcher finds out that the majority of students smoke marijuana regularly at a school, he or she should immediately disclose the finding, rather than keep it secret as the researcher did. This is a serious violation of the ethics of research, and would rank two on the list of top three..
k. Intellectual Property Infringement
The act of the professor in taking credit for a research conducted by his or her graduate student is highly unethical and is the topper in the list of the three unethical practices. The professor has been dishonest and is liable for prosecution under intellectual property infringement. This would rank first in the list of top three because it is against the principle of copyright. A student would have given the thesis to the professor with trust, but by acting the way he or she did, it was most heinous.
The Bottom Three
e. Social Responsibility and Ethical Theory
When a college instructor wants to test the effect of unfair berating on exam performance and grade one section purposefully lower, he or she is actually employing the social responsibility in an ethical theory. The ethics used here is justice and inclusiveness, as the research is done to support the theory that purposeful grading of students has a negative impact on those students who are affected by it. The researcher however, by publishing the results to confirm the hypothesis, benefits the whole of society who understand the result of unfair grading.
l. Social Justice and Responsibility
When the panel of reputable social scientists press for congressional approval of a National Data Service, the advantage of having a master data file that reduces duplicity of efforts and increases the number of variables per individual can help save more lives. Therefore this would come under social justice and responsibility.
h. When a research tries to elicit an exact and unbiased result from an experiment, researchers do use certain techniques to elicit response from their participants. As some people may try to save face by expressing attitudes on matters they are wholly uninformed about, the researcher is left with no other option but to study their attitudes by using fictitious issues. As long as the research result is published and the names of the participants are kept confidential, it will come under the respect for vulnerable persons, and privacy and confidentiality (Lewis & Graham, 2007).
Canterbury Christ Church University,. (2014). An Introduction to Ethics Issues and Principles in Research Involving Human Participants. Retrieved 7 November 2014, from https://www.canterbury.ac.uk/Research/Documents/IntroductionToEthics.pdf
Geppert, C. (2007). Medical Education and the Pharmaceutical Industry: A Review of Ethical Guidelines and Their Implications for Psychiatric Training. Academic Psychiatry, 31(1), 32-39. doi:10.1176/appi.ap.31.1.32
Lewis, J., & Graham, J. (2007). Research Participants' Views on Ethics in Social Research: Issues for Research Ethics Committees. Research Ethics, 3(3), 73-79. doi:10.1177/174701610700300303
Resnik, D. (2011). What is Ethics in Research & Why is it Important?. Niehs.nih.gov. Retrieved 7 November 2014, from http://www.niehs.nih.gov/research/resources/bioethics/whatis/