Deception should not be used in an effort to improve the response rates. The benefits to be gained by deception should be balanced against the risk to the participants. b) Explain participants’ rights and protections The researcher should explain to the respondents that their rights and well being will be adequately protected and say how this will be done. This may be done by maintaining confidentiality of the responses or by destroying the names and addresses of the respondents. c) Informed consent This is concerned with fully disclosing the procedures of the proposed survey or other research design before requesting permission to proceed with the study. When dealing with children it is wise to have a parent or other person with legal standing (over 18 years) sign a consent form. Also when doing research with medical or psychological consequences it is also wise to have consent from participants. If there is a chance that the data would harm the participant or if researchers offer only limited protection or confidentiality, a signed form detailing the types of limits should be obtained. In most business research verbal consent is sufficient. Once the research is completed, the subjects who were deceived should be debriefed. 2
d) Debriefing participants Debriefing explains the truth to the participants and describes the major goals of the study and the reason for using deception. In case where severe reactions occur, follow up medical or psychological attention should be provided to continue to ensure the participant remains unharmed by the research. Even when research does not deceive respondent it’s a good practice to offer them follow-up information. For surveys and interviews, respondent can be offered a report of the findings. This retains the good will of the respondent, providing an incentive to participate in feature research. For experiment all subjects should be debriefed. This corrects any deception that occurred and it allows subjects to put the experiment into context. e) Rights to privacy All individuals have a right to privacy and researchers must respect that right. In some studies, without the guarantee of privacy most people would not answer truthfully certain questions. Privacy guarantee is important not only to retain validity in the research but also to protect respondents. For example, imagine the harm that could be caused by releasing information on the pornographic viewing habits of the respondents. The confidentiality of survey answers are an important aspect of the respondent right to privacy. Once the guarantee of confidentiality is given, protecting the confidentiality is essential, researchers, should restrict access to information that reveals names, telephone numbers, addresses or other identifying features. Privacy is more than confidentiality.
- Spring '12
- Ethics, researcher