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|O N L I N E R E S E A R C H E T H I C S C O U R S E
Section Six: Human Participation in Research
CASE STUDY: A Test of Anxiety
It is coercion to require students to participate in experiments as a condition of their grades. Experiments requiring student participation should not have been approved by IRB.
It is not coercion to require students to participate in experiments as a condition of their grade, particularly in college-level psychology courses. Students should be informed, in writing at the beginning of the class, that their participation is required as part of their developing knowledge of the field of psychology. Students must be at least 18 years old to give informed consent for participations. College students who are younger than 18 years old may be allowed to give informed consent to participate in some projects with specific IRB approval.
However, IRB blanket approval should be given for psychology student participation only if the participants are subjected to no risk or to minimal risk. Participation in an experiment that subjects students to potential humiliation in front of their peers is more than minimal risk and requires special approval. Participation in an experiment that leads students to the conclusion, erroneously or not, that they are sexually deviant is more than minimal risk and should not be approved unless the experiment took place in a private and highly supportive setting. In addition, this experiment is unnecessarily deceptive and should not be approved by the IRB on that basis.
END OF THIS CASE.
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