Research and Participants

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Examine the ways in which practical, ethical and theoretical factors may influence sociologist’s choice of research methods. Practical, ethical and theoretical issues are extremely important when deciding a research method because; certain issues may lead to unuseful information because a certain practical, ethical or theoretical issue can affect the results It can be argued that ethical issues need to be considered because they may cause psychological harm, for example in Milgrams study, his participants actually thought they were inflicting pain on people and that the researcher didn’t care that the person who the participants thought they were electrocuting with painful electrocutes were getting hurt badly. This caused distress to the participants which could have a long term affect in them. However to make this situations more ethical the researchers could debrief the participants once the study is over and tell them that it was not real. Also the interviewer should try to get informed consent, they should be told what will happen in the study and how long the study will go on for they should have the right to refuse being a part of the study if they want to. However this may lead to social desirability; the participants may not be truthful because they may exaggerate their truthful answers to make themselves look better. Also another reason why the participants may not be truthful is because of demand characteristics; they may guess the aim of the study and try and act how they feel the researcher wants them to act or vice versa. To keep a study ethical researchers must keep the identity of the participants confidential. The researcher must make sure the identities of the participants private to prevent any possible negative effects that may happen to them in the future. They must keep all personal information totally confidential even if it would make the conclusion; when it is published, better. This leads on to the fact that the researcher must be aware...
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