Literature Review
Ethical Issues
1. Literature Review
2. Ethical Behavior
3. The Nuremberg Code
4. IRB
What is a Literature Review?
 What is known about the subject?
 Are there any gaps in the knowledge of the
 Have areas of further study been identified by
other researchers that you may want to
 Is there consensus about the topic?
What is a Literature Review?
 What methods or problems were identified by
others studying in the field and how might
they impact your research?
 What is the current status of research in this
 What sources of information or data were
identified that might be useful to you?
How to do a literature search?
 Defining the topic
 In order to begin your literature review you
must first define your research question.
 What is the purpose? What does it
mean? What are the key words?
 Are there other words which could be used,
such as synonyms, variations in spelling?
How to do a literature search?
 Compiling a list of keywords
 Think about both general terms and very
specific terms for broadening and narrowing
your search.
 The keyword or phrase is the basic unit of
any search.
 The use of an index and/or thesaurus is also
advisable to establish the useful terms.
How to do a literature search?
 Identifying Resources
 Information is available in a number of
 Books
 Journals
 Conference Papers
 Dissertations
 Internet (
 Electronic Databases
Jstor at
Ethical behavior (definition)
 Behavior is ethical insofar as it follows the
rules that have been specifically oriented to
the welfare of the larger society and not to the
self-interest of the professional
 To act unethically is to act unprofessionally
Ethical research
 There's no such thing as perfectly ethical
 In fact, all research is inherently unethical to
some degree
 This is because you're using the most
powerful tools science has to offer in getting
at truth or some needed change, and with
your results, somebody's going to be proven
wrong or lose out in the power struggle
Ethical research
 There's also no such thing as totally
harmless research
 Somebody, usually your subjects, is going
to be harmed, either psychologically,
socially, physically, or economically
 Their privacy is invaded to get any useful
information (why do research on the
obvious, surface characteristics of
people?), and this is psychological harm
Social Harm
 Socially and physically, we are harming them
by taking up their time with our “silly” research
 Economically, we are exploiting them by not
paying them for their contribution
 We, the researchers, will go on and become
famous writing a book about them, but they will
always remain lowly research subjects
 Ethically, research is just a whole awkward and
asymmetrical situation overall.
Political Regulation of Research
 Historically, governments have had to put
serious restrictions on researchers. In fact,
the origin of codes of research ethics can be
traced to the NUREMBERG CODE, a list of
rules established by a military tribunal on
Nazi war crimes during World War II.
The Nuremberg Code
 Voluntary consent
 Fruitful results for the good of society
 Anticipated results will justify the performance
of experiment
 Avoid all unnecessary physical or mental
 No research should be conducted where
there is a reason to believe that death or
disabling injury will occur
 The degree of risk to be taken should never
exceed that determined by the humanitarian
importance of the problem to be solved
The Nuremberg Code
 Proper preparation should be made-protect
the research subjects against injure, or death
 Research should be conducted only by
scientifically qualified persons
 During research the subjects should be at
liberty to bring the research to the end
 Research must be ready to terminate the
research at any stage if there is possibility to
hurt research subjects
 Data: Anonymous _ Confidential __
Intentionally identified___
 If anonymous or confidential, describe how
anonymity or confidentiality will be maintained
(e.g., coded to a master list and separated
from data, locked cabinet, office, restricted
computer, etc.). List all sites where data
might be stored.
 Who will have access to the data? Please
be specific_____________
 Will video tapes ___ audio tapes ___
photographs ___ be taken?
 If yes, where will tapes or photographs be
 When will all research materials be
 How will subjects be selected or recruited and
how will subjects be approached (or
 Describe any potential risks to the subjects,
and describe how you will minimize these
risks. These include
stress, discomfort,
social risks (e.g., embarrassment), legal risks,
invasion of privacy, and side effects
Social Science Experiments
 Social research might also put subjects at risk
 Three social scientific studies are cited most
 Laud Humphrey’s “Tearoom Trade” (1970)
 Stanley Milgram’s “Obedience to Authority”
 Philip Zimbardo’s simulated prison
experiment (1972-1974)
Laud Humphreys and the Tearoom
Sex Study
 He stationed himself in "tearooms" and offered to
serve as "watchqueen"
 He was able to gain the confidence of some of the
men he observed, disclose his role as scientist, and
persuade them to tell him about the rest of their lives
and about their motives
 Humphreys secretly recorded the license numbers of
their cars
 A year later and carefully disguised, Humphreys
appeared at their homes claiming to be a healthservice interviewer and interviewed them about their
marital status, race, job, and so on.
Humphreys' findings destroy many
 54% of his subjects were married and living with
their wives
 38% were neither bisexual nor homosexual: they
were men whose marriages were marked with
 24 % were clearly bisexual, happily married, well
educated, economically quite successful, and
exemplary members of their community
 Another 24 % were single and were covert
 Only 14 % of Humphreys' subjects were members
of the gay community and were interested in
primarily homosexual relationships
Stanley Milgram’s “Obedience to
 Psychologist at Yale University, conducted a
study focusing on the conflict between
obedience to authority and personal
 Germans are different
 Character flaw “Readiness to obey authority
without question, no matter what outrageous
acts authority commands”
 Everything in the experiment was staged
except one person-subject
 Milgram changed a lot in his initial script
because people were obeying too much
“Learner” is taken to a room
where he is strapped in a
chair to prevent movement
and an electrode is placed
on his arm. The "teacher" is
instructed to read a list of
two word pairs and ask the
"learner" to read them back.
If "learner" gets the answer
wrong, the "teacher" is
supposed to shock the
"learner" starting at 15 volts
The generator has 30
switches ranging from "slight
shock" to "danger: severe
shock“ The final two switches
are labeled "XXX“
The "teacher" automatically is
supposed to increase the
shock each time the "learner"
misses a word in the list. The
"learner" was an actor who
was never actually harmed
 “Two-thirds of this study participants fall into
the category of ‘obedient' subjects, and that
they represent ordinary people drawn from
the working, managerial, and professional
 65% of all of the "teachers" punished the
"learners" to the maximum 450 volts
 No subject stopped before reaching 300 volts
 The theory that only the most severe
monsters on the sadistic fringe of
society would submit to such cruelty is
Ethical issues of Milgram’s
 Milgram made a judgment about there is no
possible psychological damage to the
 Milgram interviewed subjects afterwards
 83% said they were glad to participate
 1.3% said they were sorry
 However, Milgram could not know that only
1.3% would be sorry
Zimbardo’s simulated prison
 Subjects –males, undergraduate, paid
 Role of either guard or prisoner
 Mock prison was constructed in the basement
of Stanford university
 Experiment was to have lasted for two weeks
but Zimbardo cancelled the study after 6 days
because of possible harm
What went wrong?
 Individuals became carried away with their
 Guards behaved aggressively and
dehumanizing toward prisoners
 Prisoners behaved ether passively or were
 Subjects did consent to participate in the
study, but they did not expect the