Ethics in a Research & Academic Setting Psychology Case (Case Study Sample)
Assignment: 3–5 pages (1.5–2 pages per case study, 1 page for references)
Give a brief description of the ethical dilemma/situation.
Describe how individual, organizational, or situational causes—or a combination of the three—led to the situation, and explain the ethical principle/standard(s) violated in the case.
Explain how you arrived at your conclusion, including what decision-making model you utilized to inform your decision.
Describe your thoughts on reading the cases. For example, was the ethical dilemma/violation immediately obvious, ambiguous, or not really a violation/dilemma?
Was the outcome what you expected? Why or why not?
Did you see yourself, personally or professionally, in any of the characters/situations? Explain.
Ethics in a Research and Academic Setting
Ethics in a Research and Academic Setting
Case 29: Accurately Reporting Research Results
In this ethical dilemma, a psychologist is looking to be contracted for work in a company. As part of the contract, the psychologist is supposed to help uncover possible predictors of employee absenteeism within the company, in addition to providing concrete and viable recommendations from the study that might help curb absenteeism within the company. However, she exaggerates the ability of her proposed study to meet the company’s needs and ends up providing a report that is inconclusive and basically a restatement of obvious problems that the company faces. Disappointed in these results, she is forced by the company’s management to rewrite her report truthfully, which further highlights the inability of her study to meet the intended goals. In retaliation, the company offers her less pay than previously agreed, which she eventually accepts to end the dispute.
This situation is clearly the result of individual causes. This is mainly because as a recent graduate, the psychologist is looking to build a career in addition to making a living. These factors served as impetuses for her exaggeration of the study’s ability to meet the company’s needs. This resulted in her provision of impossible-to-achieve expectations from the management, which further aggravated the situation when she provided an unsatisfactory report to the management. The psychologist’s lack of ethicality was further demonstrated when she willingly chose to omit the empirical correlations obtained from the study. Seeing as she wanted to avoid embarrassing herself from giving an inconclusive report, she purposely chose to omit data that was at the center of the study, and instead provide a vague report that failed to address the company’s needs. From the above-mentioned facts, it becomes clear that the ethical dilemma presented in this case originated from individual causes, and more specifically, unprofessionalism and the disregard of ethical practices by the psychologist (Klitzman, 2015).
Moreover, the psychologist also violated the ethical standard of avoiding deceptive practices in research, which she demonstrated by exaggerating the results her study would obtain, and also by deliberately omitting relevant results obtained from the study in her initial report (Danis, Largent, Grady, Hull, & Wendler, 2012). Her assertion that she omitted said data in order to avoid technical jargon and make the report understandable also manifest her use of deceptive practices, which in all instances were intended to ensure that she receives full pay in spite of doing unsatisfactory work, which accurately describes passive deception.
To ensure my decision was fully informed, I relied on a rational decision-making model. This model relies on an analysis of the facts available for a particular situation, which worked well in this case (Maldonato, 2010). Through the analysis of the psychologist’s decisions the entire time as presented in the case, it becomes apparent without a doubt that she used passive deception techniques that were motivated by individual causes. In this case, the ethical dilemma was immediately obvious seeing as ...
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