Examine the Ethical Issues That Sociologists May Face When Conducting Research.

634 Words3 Pages
When conducting social research it is important for sociologists to consider the range of ethical factors that they might face, as failure to do so may affect the participants or even the overall outcome of the sociological data. From the informed consent of participants to covert research, it is essential to examine the most important ethical issues as they play an important part in the construction of research data. An ethical problem that could be encountered by sociologists when conducting research is the issue of informed consent. Informed consent is given when the participants of the study agree to the terms and conditions of the true aim of the study. However, some results may be invalidated by the participants knowing either the true aim of the study or the fact that they are being studied at all. If the participant was to know the true nature of the study, they may adapt their behaviour in order to fit in (socially desirable) or they may act in a way that they think the researcher is expecting (demand characteristics). For example, in Milgram's electric shock experiment, it is highly likely that more participants would have delivered the higher shocks to the 'learner' if they had known the reality of the entire study. This makes the participants actions and behaviour unnatural and could invalidate the data completely. When considering this issue, sociologists should also consider that participants should also be offered the right to refuse. This is an important ethical issue for sociologists to consider throughout their studies as refusal to participate in parts of the study could also alter the data. Another ethical problem sociologists may face is vulnerable groups. Special care should be taken when the participants are particularly vulnerable due to their age, disabilities, physical health or mental health. For example, children being studied in

More about Examine the Ethical Issues That Sociologists May Face When Conducting Research.

Open Document