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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
While it is allowable to require students to participate in experiments, this experiment is morally prohibited because volunteers were penalized if they chose to stop participating in the experiment.
Voluntary consent is an on-going activity. It is morally permitted for a volunteer to stop participating in an experiment at any time without being penalized. In this case, students who volunteered should be able to withdraw and receive their full one hour credit, even if they decide to withdraw before the completion task begins.
One of the many dangers of giving participants partial rather than full disclosure prior to gaining consent is that they may rationally change their mind about participating when learning the complete story. In this case, it would not be surprising for students to choose not to participate upon learning that their purported "sexual deviance" will be indicated to their classmates.
This is not the only problem with the experiment. Please read alternative responses to understand more about the problems with this experiment.
END OF THIS CASE.
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