Discussion: Ethics in Cross-Cultural Research
While many psychologists may be familiar with ethical considerations in their own culture, such as the use of Institutional Review Boards (IRBs) to review research, or the existence of professional documents such as American Psychological Association’s (APA) code of ethics, when conducting research outside of their majority home culture, they may be at a loss. For instance, the psychologist may not be aware of different rules and regulations for research in different nations, or about various spoken and unspoken cultural beliefs about morals and ethics and the role and purpose of research, such as differing understandings and beliefs about what merits co-authorship or what constitutes privacy and confidentiality. Familiarizing yourself with such ethical considerations will be important for you to understand in your future professional practice.
- Consider the following: Professor Plum wants to investigate cross-cultural differences in attitudes towards different foods. He is very interested in nation “X”. However, he has never been there nor does he know the language or culture or the political situation. He also does not know if there are any psychologists living in that nation. Understanding attitudes about foods in this nation may help with people with eating disorders in Professor Plum’s country and eventually may help people with eating disorders in many nations.
- As you consider Professor Plum’s research, think about the impact of his plans on human subject protection. Also, consider the ethical implications of the aims of his research purposes and his ability to gain information that will accurately represent those from whom he collects data.
By Day 4
Before Professor Plum begins his research, post andexplain some of the potential ethical issues he will need to consider (i.e., impact on human subject protection) and why this is an important consideration. Further explain two ethical issues and suggest what courses of action might be appropriate.
Read your colleagues’ postings.