For Trevian 2 assignments

Selecting a Topic

 

 

 

1. Get a copy of a local or regional newspaper

 

 

or go to a newspaper ’ s website. Find three

 

 

 

articles that deal with social behavior or

 

characteristics. List the name of the paper,

 

the date of publication, and the headline for

 

each of these articles.

 

2. Select one of the stories and make a copy to

 

turn in with this exercise.

 

3. Create one research question on the topic of

 

the article that could be answered by social

 

research and state it.

 

4. Assuming you could get enough funding and

 

had the time to do research to answer the

 

question you stated, would you do the

 

research? Describe why you would or would

 

not do the research by focusing on your

 

 

personal interests, today ’ s social and political

 

 

 

climate, and the contribution you think the

 

research would make to social science or

 

society

 

 

In the following examples, the researcher has

 

made or will need to make a choice about ethical

 

principles. For each situation, identify the ethical

 

principle(s), speculate about why the researchers

 

made the decisions they did, and then state

 

whether you agree with their decisions.

 

 

66 CHAPTER 3 • Ethics and Social Research

 

9781305548770, An Invitation to Social Research: How It’s Done, Fifth Edition, Adler/Clark – © Cengage Learning. All rights reserved. No distribution allowed without express authorization. Distributed by Grand Canyon University.

 

A. Professor Ludwig ’ s research question is

 

 

 

whether there is a connection between

 

experiencing family violence and academic

 

achievement among students. He contacts

 

the principal of a local high school who

 

 

agrees to the school ’ s participation. At a

 

 

 

school assembly, the principal hands out

 

 

Professor Ludwig ’ s questionnaire, which includes

 

 

 

questions about family behavior including

 

violence between family members.

 

The principal requests that the students fill

 

out the survey and put their names on it. The

 

following day, Professor Ludwig uses school

 

records to obtain information about each

 

 

student ’ s level of academic achievement so

 

 

 

that he can answer his research question. He

 

keeps all information that he obtains confidential

 

and presents only a statistical analysis

 

of the data.

 

1. What ethical principle(s) do you think

 

was (were) violated in this research?

 

2. Describe the probable reason(s) Professor

 

Ludwig violated the principle(s) you

 

noted in your answer to Question 1.

 

3. Describe your reactions to the way this

 

study was done.

 

B. Professor Hawkins receives funding from

 

both a state agency and a national feminist

 

organization to study the connection among

 

 

marital power, spouses ’ financial resources,

 

 

 

and marital violence. Deciding to interview

 

both spouses from at least 100 married couples,

 

she contacts potential participants by

 

mail. Because she is a university professor,

 

she writes to each couple on university letterhead

 

stationery and asks each couple to

 

participate in her study. She specifies that she

 

will be interviewing them about their marriage

 

but does not state the specific topics

 

that the interview will cover or the source of

 

her funding. She specifies that everything the

 

couple tells her will be kept confidential.

 

1. What ethical principle(s) do you think

 

was (were) violated in this research?

 

2. Describe the probable reason(s) Professor

 

Hawkins violated the principle(s) you

 

noted in your answer to Question 1.

 

3. Describe your reactions to the way this

 

study was done.

 

 

C. To study a radical “ right-to-life ” group,

 

 

 

Professor Jenkins decides to join the group

 

without telling the members that he is secretly

 

studying it. After each meeting, he returns

 

home and takes field notes about the

 

members and their discussion. After several

 

months of attending meetings, he is invited to

 

 

become a member of the group ’ s board of

 

 

 

directors and he accepts. One evening at the

 

 

group ’ s general membership meeting, one

 

 

 

member of the board becomes enraged during

 

the discussion about abortion information

 

and procedures available at a local

 

 

women ’ s health clinic. He shouts that the

 

 

 

clinic staff deserves to die. Later that week,

 

someone fires a gun through several windows

 

of the clinic. Although no one is killed,

 

several clinic staff and one patient are injured.

 

The police find out that Professor

 

Jenkins has been studying the local group

 

and subpoena his field notes. Professor

 

Jenkins complies with the subpoena, and the

 

board member is arrested.

 

1. What ethical principle(s) do you think

 

was (were) violated in this research?

 

2. Describe the probable reason(s) Professor

 

Jenkins violated the principles you noted

 

in your answer to Question 1.

 

3. Describe your reactions to the way this

 

 

study was done and the researcher ’ s

 

 

 

response to the subpoena.