What even are ethics?
Ethics means sticking to what is morally right, which is important because it’s integrated into the entire research process. It’s a topic that can be heavily debated and there are many issues still with ethics… but we’re not here to discuss that or give opinions on that. We’re here to talk about why ethics are still important in research
So, what does it look like when we DON’T have ethics?
People can spew nonsense and make up false facts and data and publish it! It’s chaos! You don’t know if Joe Shmoe is lying in his college thesis paper, and Joe Shmoe thinks your published paper is all lies. People wouldn’t have as much incentive to do research 😞
Throughout history, there have been so many cases of unethical research. One example could be the Stanford Prison Experiment (1971) where researchers Zimbardo and his colleagues wanted to know: Are there psychological effects of being in prison on the guards and/or prisoners? The experiment’s procedure is where it started going wrong… the prisoners were treated inhumanely, forced to strip naked and remove their identity by referring to each other only by their ID numbers. Prisoners started rebelling, guards retaliated, and essentially the experiment ended earlier than intended because prisoners started having emotional breakdowns.
I would love to hear what research ethics means to YOU. How can you be ethical in your research ideas?