Thesis: Ethical Scenarios Abigail Was Hired to Examine

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Ethical Scenarios

Abigail was hired to examine the effects of stress on firefighter's "readiness" capabilities. She has the firefighters complete a large standardized survey. The survey is anonymous and Ally can't link a questionnaire to a specific firefighter. While surveying the firefighters, she discovers that 75% smoke marijuana regularly in their off-duty hours. She reports this finding when presenting her results to the fire captains.

If I were the researcher, I would not feel comfortable conducting this study unless the informed consent form explicitly detailed the degree to which and conditions under which information disclosed might have to be divulged to Fire Department authorities. From the perspective of the confidentiality of each individual firefighter, the study did not violate the principle of confidentiality since none of the identities of individual respondents was divulged. However, the disclosure of this information to Fire Department authorities could negatively impact the firefighters as a group.

Once the information is discovered by the researcher, her respective obligations to the firefighters (as a group) or to society would be determined by whether or not off-duty marijuana smoking is functionally related to job performance or "readiness" capabilities. To the extent off-duty marijuana smoking is functionally related to job performance or readiness, the researcher has an ethical duty to disclose the information to Fire Department authorities because failing to do so perpetuates the risk to the general public associated with impaired firefighters.

However, to the extent off-duty marijuana use is not functionally related to job performance or readiness, the researcher has an obligation to the group not to divulge information that could be potentially harmful to their careers. For example, if the survey had revealed that the firefighter were all involved in sharing (legal) pornographic videos in their off-duty time, there would be no public-interest justification for divulging the information and doing so would be unethical because it would be harmful to the entire subject group even if the confidentiality of individual identities were respected.

2. To test the extent to which people may try to save face by expressing attitudes on matters that they know nothing about, Bob asks for people's attitudes regarding a fictitious issue. In debriefing, Bob informs the participants that the issue was made-up and why that was necessary.

There are no ethical issues or problems presented by this case. Deception is often necessary to conduct research into specific behaviors. Where the nature of the deception could cause emotional distress or other conceivable harm to the participants, deception may not be ethically justifiable. To be on the safe side, it would have been advisable to include a statement in the informed consent form that disclosed the fact that deception may be an element of the study. In any case, the researcher would also have an ethical obligation to conduct a debriefing session with each participant to make sure that the deception and the responses of the participants did not cause emotional or other forms of harm to the participant.

3. Carson is interested in how people talk when they drink alcohol. He wants to see what alcohol really does to people as compared to what they think it does to them. He conducts a study… [END OF PREVIEW]

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APA Format

Ethical Scenarios Abigail Was Hired to Examine.  (2011, September 27).  Retrieved December 7, 2019, from https://www.essaytown.com/subjects/paper/ethical-scenarios-abigail-hired-examine/40629

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"Ethical Scenarios Abigail Was Hired to Examine."  27 September 2011.  Web.  7 December 2019. <https://www.essaytown.com/subjects/paper/ethical-scenarios-abigail-hired-examine/40629>.

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"Ethical Scenarios Abigail Was Hired to Examine."  Essaytown.com.  September 27, 2011.  Accessed December 7, 2019.
https://www.essaytown.com/subjects/paper/ethical-scenarios-abigail-hired-examine/40629.