Ethical Implications of Research

When responding to your peers’ posts, offer a differing viewpoint, substantiated with your own experience.

Classmate # 1 Amanda

The ethical idea of respect for the patient or sample provider’s privacy has negatively affected the uses of samples along with the ability to share the knowledge gained from those samples. Without being able to adequately follow a sample provider that wishes to remain anonymous, it is impossible to tell if the sample was correct or was an error caused by a single environmental anomaly. In addition to this issue, another dilemma is that without having a sample provider’s identity, it is hard to share information with multiple researcher over distance incase the provider gave more than one sample to these different providers, thus skewing the data collected and then causing incorrect results. “Assuring anonymity makes it difficult to keep track of which sampled respondents have been interviewed, because researchers do not record their names,” (Michael G. Maxfield). Therefore, in criminal justice research if a criminal or inmate is used for a sample group when researching a trend or hypothesis, if they were anonymous, certain factors about the individual could be excluded for privacy reasons to prevent the identification of the subject. While these excluded factors could project the subject, those same factors could lead to a different result or revelation regarding the research whether it be environmental, biological, or psychological. However, this privacy of subjects can protect the subjects from repercussions in participating in the research.

Classmate # 2 Christina

Ethical implications of research are essential in this course because of environmental, cultural, and social influences on an individual and their ethics. I am in a law enforcement field and have conducted research for law enforcement purposes. The standards in which I completed that research were essential in maintaining the ethics of that research. There is the law, and then there is my personal ethics that have been developed over the course of my lifetime. This is something that I personally dealt with when I entered my profession. Murder is legally, morally, and ethically wrong. Yet, I will kill in order to protect the innocent. So can I say that I may excuse an act that I would normally deem unethical in certain situations? Most definitely, and I am not the only one. I was required to take a polygraph for my last professional position, and during this test I was specifically asked, “was this act committed outside of war?” Acts that are considered illegal or unethical will be excused under certain circumstances. So, if one was presented a situation where they had to research a criminal act that they perceived to be justified they may be inclined, subconsciously, to manipulate the information. They could accumulate actual facts, and present them in a way that justifies the act. There is also situation where one might consciously fabricate, falsify, or misrepresent information in order to promote their ideologies. They could also do this in order to minimize error in the information. Ethical implications in research are essential in promoting the objectives of research- knowledge, facts, etc. Another instance where I have personally seen the importance of the ethical implications of research is the necessity of collaborative work that may be required in research practices. There needs to be trust, accountability, respect, etc. If one is known to have wavering ethical standards in this area people are less likely to cooperate. When enough people refuse to cooperate your research becomes harder to complete and you could be forced to use less valuable information which will lower the value of your finished work. From a law enforcement stand point a case can be dismissed for violations of ethical standards in the investigation process. The guilty party goes free and the justice system is a failure for failing to impose penalty on that party who violated the law. Even further, law enforcement officers can lose their jobs or be prosecuted for failing to maintain ethical standards in the investigative process.

 

Answer:

When reviewing Amanda’s post, I appreciate her perspective on the ethical considerations related to research, particularly in criminal justice. She raises valid points about the challenges of maintaining anonymity in research and the potential impact on the accuracy and reliability of data. However, I would argue that while ensuring privacy and anonymity is crucial, there are also ways to address these concerns while still conducting rigorous research.

For example, researchers can implement strict protocols for data collection and management to ensure confidentiality while also keeping track of individual samples or subjects through unique identifiers that are not linked to personal information. This way, researchers can still analyze and verify data without compromising the privacy of participants.

Additionally, Amanda mentions the potential exclusion of certain factors due to privacy concerns, which could affect the outcomes of research. While this is a valid concern, researchers can address this issue by obtaining informed consent from participants and clearly explaining the purpose and potential implications of the research. This allows participants to make informed decisions about their participation and can help mitigate any concerns about omitted information.

Moving on to Christina’s post, she provides a firsthand perspective on the ethical implications of research, particularly in the field of law enforcement. Her example of being asked about committing acts outside of war during a polygraph test highlights the complex moral and ethical considerations that arise in certain professions.

While Christina acknowledges the importance of ethical standards in research, she also brings up the possibility of bias or manipulation in presenting information, especially when researchers have personal or professional stakes in the outcomes. This is a valid concern, as bias can significantly impact the integrity and validity of research findings.

To address this issue, researchers must adhere to strict ethical guidelines and transparency in their methodologies, data analysis, and reporting. Additionally, fostering a culture of accountability and peer review can help identify and mitigate potential biases or conflicts of interest in research.

Overall, both Amanda and Christina underscore the critical importance of ethical considerations in research, and their insights highlight the multifaceted nature of ethical decision-making in various fields.

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