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Research and Ethics in Psychology

Developmental psychology attempts to understand cognitive, physical, and social-emotional development throughout the lifespan. In order to understand, for example, how maternal stress during pregnancy might impact the child later in life, pregnant women and children could be studied. Vulnerable populations, such as pregnant women, newborns, children, cognitively impaired individuals, incarcerated individuals, or older adults, require additional consideration and protection when planning to conduct research with them.

When conducting research in the field of human development, particularly with vulnerable populations, it is important to keep in mind that a unique set of ethical considerations should be taken into account. These populations need extra care to ensure their rights because some individuals may lack the mental capacity to give informed consent, may have decreased free will, or may be vulnerable in terms of their physical or mental welfare. As you approach this Discussion, keep in mind how ethical considerations might have affected the type of research that could be conducted.

For this Discussion, you will examine the role of ethics in developmental psychology research as it relates to vulnerable populations.

To prepare for this Discussion:

  • Review the example of a Discussion post and response found in this week’s Learning Resources as well as the Discussion Rubric to understand the Discussion’s expectations.
  • Review the Learning Resources related to ethics and research in the field of developmental psychology
  • Choose a population from the following:
    • Children
    • Women who are pregnant
    • Geriatric individuals
    • Individuals with cognitive disabilities
    • Adolescents
By Day 4

Based on the population you selected, post an explanation of the role of ethics in developmental psychology research with attention to the characteristics of this vulnerable population. Be specific in your post and use the Learning Resources to support your post. Use proper APA format and citations to support your explanation.

By Day 6

Respond to a post from at least one of your colleagues who selected a population different from that of your Discussion post and add one additional ethical consideration.

Return to this Discussion in a few days to read the responses to your initial posting and respond to any questions. Note what you have learned and/or any insights that you have gained as a result of your colleagues’ comments.

Click on the Reply button below to reveal the textbox for entering your message. Then click on the Submit button to post your message.

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