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Challenges of Conducting Research Ethically


Informed consent is a legal and ethical requirement that researchers need to provide when involving human participants. The American Psychological Association (APA) Ethical Standard 8 requires all psychologists performing research to inform their participants of the purpose, procedures, and expected duration of the study, their right to refuse to participate once the investigation commences, and the consequences of refusing to participate (APA, 2022). They should also inform the participants of the benefits of participating, confidentiality limits, incentives offered, and contact information. The researchers can provide oral or written informed consent. In case a researcher wants to study how an extremely noisy environment affects boys and girls differently, the researcher needs to provide the above information to the participants. However, providing all information, including the expected findings, can affect the accuracy of the results. Therefore, this paper will argue that offering limited informed consent to the participant of the above study is the most appropriate approach.

Limited Informed Consent as the Appropriate Approach

A limited informed consent approach is the most appropriate approach when the research is studying how an extremely noisy environment can affect boys and girls in various areas, one being the ability of boys and girls to complete a reading comprehension task under the conditions. The researcher will first ensure that all the participants participate voluntarily. The research will later inform the participants of the purpose and duration of time that the study will take. However, the research will not include their hypothesis that a very noisy environment will have more effect on boys than girls. Skipping this information will provide more accurate information than when the participants are aware of the expected results. Rebers et al. (2016), during their study identified three situations that could lead to the acceptability of a consent waiver. The first reason is for consent waiver is if full disclosure of the information would lead to a decline in data validity and quality. The second reason is if it will result in major practical problems and the third reason is participants’ confusion or distress. This study fits the first reason for consent waiver. Suppose the researcher discloses that they expect girls to have less effect from the noisy environment. In that case, the boys will try their best to concentrate or seem less affected by noise to emerge better than the girls. However, this would not be the case in a normal setting, which means that the study results will not be accurate. Accuracy is an essential aspect of research because inaccuracy can misrepresent information to the public, negatively impacting them (Nusbaum et al., 2017). For example, suppose a researcher publishes research with inaccurate findings that boys have less effects than girls. In that case, teachers and parents may expend the boys to understand and comprehend tasks in a noisy environment, which may not happen.

The hypothesis provides the assumption of what the researcher thinks will be the result after conducting the study. Therefore, the research may agree or disagree with the hypothesis. A researcher should state that factor when providing informed consent. However, this approach is not viable for this study because it will involve young participants who may not fully understand the statement. Therefore, the limited informed consent approach is the most appropriate to ensure that the research provides accurate information. However, the researcher will give all information during the debriefing session, which takes place after the researcher has collected data and analyzed them to provide results (Bhattacherjee, 2012). This disclosure will help the participants with all the information, including the potential risk and harm incurred during the investigation.


Researchers need to provide their human participants with informed consent as indicated in the APA Ethical Standard 8. However, a researcher can offer more limited informed consent in a situation where offering full informed consent will affect the accuracy of the information. Therefore when the researcher investigates how an extremely noisy environment will affect boys and girls differently. The investigator will omit the hypothesis that expects girls to have less effect than boys to ensure the study findings are valid and accurate.


American Psychological Association (2022). Ethical Principles of Psychologists and Code of Conduct. American Psychological Association.

Bhattacherjee, A. (2012). Social science research: Principles, methods, and practices. University of South Florida.

Nusbaum, L., Douglas, B., Damus, K., Paasche-Orlow, M., & Estrella-Luna, N. (2017). Communicating risks and benefits in informed consent for research: a qualitative study. Global Qualitative Nursing Research4, 2333393617732017.

Rebers, S., Aaronson, N. K., van Leeuwen, F. E., & Schmidt, M. K. (2016). Exceptions to the rule of informed consent for research with an intervention. BMC Medical Ethics17(1), 1-11.


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