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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 are coerced into remaining in an anxiety-provoked experiment by receiving one hour's credit in 15 minutes.
Coercion relates to the participant's belief that he or she will suffer some harm by choosing not to participate or will receive a reward so excessive that it cannot be rationally rejected. Whether one hour's credit for a 15-minute experiment is excessive depends on what the convention is with other short periods of time. If it is the case that a minimum of one hour's credit is given for some other very short experiments, giving one hour's credit in this case is not coercive.
However, this is not the only problem with the experiment. Please read alternative responses to understand more about the problems with this experiment.
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