Investigating psychology
Investigating psychology

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5 Asking questions about ethics

Psychology has a darker side to its history than you might at first expect.

By clicking ‘pin all’ of the ‘Ethics’ narrative you can see all the people, contexts, perspectives and methods that are associated with ethics.

If you click on each of the titles you can see that those related to the narrative are highlighted.

As you can see, some of these are associated in a good way. For example, the context ‘ethical considerations’ discusses the Ethical Code of Conduct for Psychological Research developed in 1985 by the BPS. Others, however, have more negative associations. By now you should be aware of the ethical debates around (in)famous psychological studies such as Milgram’s obedience studies and Zimbardo’s prison studies. The next activity considers the relationship between different aspects of history.

Activity 5

Open the CHIP resource [Tip: hold Ctrl and click a link to open it in a new tab. (Hide tip)] in a new tab in your web browser.

To begin, match the following:

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Pick one of the above (Anthropology, Evolutionary or Queer history/theory) and answer the following questions:

When was this perspective or method adopted?

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Answer

AnthropologyEvolutionaryQueer history/theory
When was this perspective or method adopted?191518701973

Why do you think this was a ripe time for it to become popular? In other words, why were these kinds of questions asked by psychologists at this point?

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Discussion

Questions that you might ask here would focus on the historical context. The CHIP resource has a timeline along the bottom. What other events were occurring at the same time? This is an exploratory tool so do explore!

What ethical issues are related to this type of method or perspective?

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Discussion

This resource will also encourage you to think about the relationships between different people, contexts, perspectives and methods. You might even find it helpful to follow one of the narratives.

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