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Ethical Issues in Quantitative Research

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❶Ethics in qualitative research. From an ethical perspective, this makes it easier to:

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At worst, researchers may manipulate the data, use fictitious and fabricated data or discard any unwanted results. When research is undertaken in solitude and the researcher is alone in having insight into what is being done, the road to dishonesty lies open. Numerous examples of research fraud can be found, in both an historical and contemporary context. These examples include academics who were held to be researchers of high stature, but in reality were untrustworthy.

In educational psychology, Cyril Burt — represents an especially grave case. By fabricating and manipulating research data in his studies of twins, he could "confirm" his theory of heritability of intelligence. International academic literature contains innumerable descriptions of "The Cyril Burt Affair". The essence of Burt's reprehensible acts consisted in the fact that many of the twins in his material did not exist, nor did many of the researchers with whom Burt had "collaborated".

However, this scandal draws attention to the fact that the research community has traditionally been closed and disinclined towards openness, including with regard to potential risk factors, and thus underscores the need for a clear focus on values as well as for increased transparency and monitoring.

In light of what we know about dishonesty, two self-evident countermeasures are commonly identified: The question is what we can do to develop these areas further. There can hardly be any doubt that the monitoring is often of a superficial nature.

Those who have funded research are often content to receive some research reports, and unannounced observations of the research process are rarely undertaken. In most cases, monitoring amounts to a critical reading of a report or an article. Ideally, however, replication by means of an empirical investigation of the key conclusions ought to be a standard requirement for publication. However, monitoring may be of limited value and may also entail unintended negative consequences, since the desired creativity presupposes freedom as well as trust.

Facilitating an expanded ethical competence in researchers and research communities is therefore a key concern. This includes ethical awareness and follow-up on the part of agencies that provide research funding.

This is also a matter of ethics in a wider context, in the need to focus on power relationships and processes that maintain hegemony, whereby particularly subjects in the fields of care and learning are systematically discriminated against when resources are allocated.

This is also a matter of those who repeatedly have resources allocated to them, the self-recruitment for such assignments and at worst, the "guarantors" of favourable conclusions. This topic has attracted little attention in this country so far, and it is also beyond the limits of this treatise. Above, we have focused on how research competence includes ethical, professional and methodological credibility. For example, when educational researchers possess limited insight into learning and the learning processes in children, they will have very limited qualifications for undertaking adequate empirical research.

Thereby, the ground is prepared for irrelevant and misleading conclusions. This is a hidden ethical problem in research. This may also apply to the implementation of quantitative studies, often involving large amounts of data, which require methodological competence to conduct analyses in a stringent and academically acceptable manner. A largely overlooked ethical problem is associated with the issue of choice of design in research that includes, for example, children in a difficult life situation, disabled people or others who are in need.

For example, one may question the ethical defensibility of using an experimental design with control groups. Those who have a hard life are often burdened by many crushed hopes, and participation in a control group may thus be problematical in terms of ethics. Various single-group designs time-series designs may be preferable, not least in the context of special-needs education Befring This is a matter of being ethically considerate and maintaining good research practice, which can uphold research quality as well as concern for those people whom this research is intended to serve.

Another problem of research ethics is associated with publication without sufficient quality assurance and without replication. One especially unworthy and problematic aspect of this are media reports that trumpet dramatic conclusions, when no research report is available. Such media reports often cause a stir, and not infrequently they spark a debate that has no research base and is often misinformed. This practice serves to undermine the trust in research, and can thus be detrimental to research that rests on a solid academic and ethical foundation.

Forskningsmetode med etikk og statistikk. Research Methods in Education. Qualitataive, Quantiative and Mixed Methods Approaches. Guidelines for research ethics in the social sciences, law and the humanities. The research ethics library offers more than 80 specialised articles on topics linked to research ethics, written by a large number of different experts and professionals. Taken as a whole, the articles shall serve as an introduction to key topics in the area of research ethics.

Each article contains additional links to further resources. Its purpose is to help engender reflection and debate, rather than to create an encyclopaedia or provide universally applicable answers. The perspectives and viewpoints presented in the FBIB articles do not necessarily reflect those of The Norwegian National Research Ethics Committees; all authors are responsible for their own perspectives.

Subscribe to our English newsletter. Ethical guidelines General guidelines for research ethics Medical and health research Science and technology The social sciences, law and the humanities Internet Research Human remains Research Ethics Checklist. Topics Quantitative method Design Procedures Methodology. Introduction Academic values Honesty Protection of integrity Control and ethical competence Conclusion Introduction Quantitative methods include formalized principles that form the basis for a stringent research process that proceeds from formulation of research questions, research design and the selection and analysis of data to interpretations and conclusions.

Academic values Traditionally, the search for truth has been the fundamental objective and legitimisation of science. Honesty Researchers are never exempted from exercising sound ethical judgement, they need to be methodologically qualified for conducting research with validity and quality, and they must do their utmost to ensure that objective concerns take precedence over preconceived notions and assessments.

Protection of integrity Clear initiatives have been taken to prevent unworthy conditions in the form of scientific misconduct, academic dishonesty etc. Control and ethical competence It is often assumed that the standardized methods and formalised requirements for quantitative research help ensure academic and ethical credibility.

Conclusion A largely overlooked ethical problem is associated with the issue of choice of design in research that includes, for example, children in a difficult life situation, disabled people or others who are in need. Refer to American Psychological Assosiatation: Det Norske Samlaget Befring, Edvard Routledge Taylor Creswell, John W. Further reading Befring, Edvard The Research Ethics Library The research ethics library offers more than 80 specialised articles on topics linked to research ethics, written by a large number of different experts and professionals.

Newsletter Subscribe to our English newsletter. Thank you for helping us provide a better service. These types of research design include quantitative research designs , qualitative research designs and mixed methods research designs. The impact of each of these types of research design on research ethics is discussed in turn:.

Compared with qualitative research designs, the more structured and well-defined characteristics of quantitative research designs allow researchers to plan much of the research process before it starts. Even during the research process, there tends to be relatively little drift from these plans. From an ethical perspective, this makes it easier to: This is the case whether your dissertation involves experimental or non-experimental research. In the case of non-experimental research, this can often mean that instead of having to submit an Ethics Proposal to an Ethics Committee , you may only have to convince your supervisor that you have addressed any potential ethical challenges you expect to face.

This will save you time. However, if you are conducting experimental research, especially involving human subjects, there is a greater likelihood that you will need to submit an Ethics Proposal to an Ethics Committee , which can slow down the research process.

Despite this, the pre-planned and procedural nature of quantitative research designs does make it easier to understand what ethical challenges you may face, which avoids potential ethical issues arising during the research process that may affect the way you can analyse and present your data. Qualitative research designs tend to be more evolutionary in nature when compared with quantitative research designs.

For example, data collected during the research process can influence the choice of research methods in subsequent phases of a qualitative research design. As a result, it is often only during the research process that potential ethical issues that may be faced in the next phase of a research project become clear. This can make it harder to: If your research involves a controversial practices e.

However, Ethics Committees are increasingly recognising the evolutionary nature of qualitative research designs and the potential ethical uncertainties they sometimes create. For the most part, you should be able to recognise most of the potential ethical scenarios you may face during the research process and propose in advance how you would overcome these.

If you are using a mixed methods research design, you will need to take into account the ethical challenges inherent in quantitative and qualitative research designs.

After all, you will be using both qualitative and quantitative research methods. To some extent, this may put a greater burden on your dissertation, slowing down the research process, especially if you need to conduct a qualitative research phase e. Whilst quantitative, qualitative and mixed methods research designs all present ethical challenges, most are easily overcome.

Even when using mixed methods research designs, you should be able to recognise different ethical scenarios ; that is, different ethical issues you would face if using one research method before another, or one research method in conjunction with another.

Recognising the basic ethical principles that dissertations should adhere to is a good starting point [see the article: Principles of research ethics ]. The potential ethical issues raised by different research methods not only differ from one type of research method to the next e. To illustrate some of the different ethical issues you will face across research methods, we discuss surveys and structured interviews , observation and informal and in-depth interviews.

Each of these research methods is discussed in turn:. By their very nature, surveys and structured interviews have to be designed before the research process starts. In fact, since these two types of research method typically use closed questions where respondents must choose from pre-defined options, most of the potential answers to questions are known in advance.

From an ethical perspective, this makes it easier to get informed consent from respondents because most aspects of the survey and structured interview process are fairly certain.

Before you start the survey or structured interview process, you can clearly explain what you will be asking potential respondents, and even show them the entire research instrument i. This can not only help you achieve informed consent , but also ease the mind of the research participant, minimising the potential for distress, which is an important basic principle of research ethics [see the article: Observation, whether overt or covert , faces additional ethical considerations when compared with the use of surveys and structured interviews.

Covert observation, where participants are unaware that you are conducting research, raises particular ethical issues. However, even when using overt observation, where those individuals being observed know that they are being watched, there are some specific ethical challenges that you need to overcome. Let's look at overt and covert observation in turn:. Most research that uses observation as a research method will be overt in nature; that this, the research participants will be aware that you are observing them and should know what you are observing.

In this sense, it should be possible to obtain informed consent from those individuals that you are observing. However, this is not always the case.

In some instances, access to research participants in an observational setting such as an organisation may have been granted by a gatekeeper ; an individual that has the right to grant access e. In such instances, permission may have been granted to carry out your research and participants may be aware what you are doing, but they have not necessarily given you their informed consent.

In fact, gatekeepers such as senior managers with organisations may have required employees to take part. As such, participants may not have been given the right to withdraw from your research, which is one of the basic principles of research ethics [see the article: Furthermore, even if an individual has been granted the right to withdraw from your research, you will need to think about how can manage this if you are observing a large group interaction e.

Whilst we are not suggesting that you cannot continue with such observation, you would need to have thought about the ways that you can separate the data provided by this individual during the observation when analysing and reporting the data.

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Ethical considerations for quantitative research will be examined in this module. Learning Objectives: Describe why adhering to ethical principles is important in research. Explain the specific ethical issues to consider in quantitative research. List the core ethical principles that should guide the researcher’s actions in quantitative research.

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Ethical Issues in Quantitative Research Monday, February 12, - pm to pm 02/12/ pm Ethical Issues in Quantitative Research Helen Harton, psychology department, will lead this workshop, which will help participants become acquainted with key ethical issues involved in research and scholarship. Identify the issues in research that directly affect the “privacy” of an individual. Define “deception” and the rationale for why it may be used in a research study. Distinguish between ethical considerations in quantitative and qualitative research. Understand the role of institutional review boards in monitoring ethics in research.

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Results: The major ethical issues in conducting research are: a) Informed consent, b) Beneficence- Do not harm c) Respect for anonymity and confidentiality d) Respect for privacy. However, both the nature of nursing which focuses on . Research methods and research ethics. The potential ethical issues raised by different research methods not only differ from one type of research method to the next (e.g., surveys versus in-depth interviews), but also the way in which a research method is used (e.g., overt versus covert observation).