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What are your thoughts about Anna’s rationale for not obtaining informed consent? If the value of the research seems to be greater than the risks involved to participants, do you think researchers are justified in not obtaining the informed consent of participants? Would Anna’s approach as described above meet Argosy University's informed consent criteria? What advice would you give Anna about informed consent and how she should deal with her study participants?

An important ethical consideration for any research study involving human subjects is informed consent. After reviewing The Argosy University IRB handbook, consider the following vignette, which has been adapted from Corey, Corey, and Callanan (2007). Issues and ethics in the helping profession (7th ed.). Belmont, CA: Brooks/Cole. Note: The vignette presented below is not specific to a particular discipline, but an education setting is used in order to provide context for the vignette. You can adopt this vignette to your particular discipline. For example, if you are in the Business programs, the participants may be clients or customers with which you work. If you are in the Psychology or Counseling programs, the participants may be clients you see in treatments. Ethical issues vignette: Anna is conducting a research study to evaluate the process and outcome of her intervention programs at the school where she teaches. She believes that in order to obtain valid data, she must keep the research participants in the dark in as many aspects as possible. Thus, she thinks it is important that the students she works with remain unaware of the hypotheses under investigation and that they are being studied. Although she agrees that some ethical issues may be raised by her failure to inform her participants, she believes that good research designs call for such procedures. She does not want to influence her students and thus bias the results. Anna states that since there are no negative consequences or risks involved with her research, her research practices are justified. In addition, she claims that since she is able to improve her educational techniques through this research, both her current and future students will benefit. Discussion questions:

  1. What are your thoughts about Anna’s rationale for not obtaining informed consent?
  2. If the value of the research seems to be greater than the risks involved to participants, do you think researchers are justified in not obtaining the informed consent of participants?
  3. Would Anna’s approach as described above meet Argosy University’s informed consent criteria?
  4. What advice would you give Anna about informed consent and how she should deal with her study participants?

All written assignments and responses should follow APA rules for attributing sources.  

Assignment 2 Grading Criteria  Maximum Points
Provided thorough and thoughtful response to each of the four discussion questions about approach to informed consent. 12
Demonstrated an understanding of Argosy University’s informed consent policies. 12
Wrote in a clear, concise, and organized manner; demonstrated ethical scholarship in accurate representation and attribution of sources, displayed accurate spelling, grammar, and punctuation. 4
Total: 28