Ethical Principles and Their Application to the Little Albert Experiment
Role of Researcher:
The researchers in this case did not follow the rules that they were expected to follow when undertaking such research. The researchers did not fully ensure that the research was conducted in such a manner that the wellbeing of the research participant would not be negatively affected by the experiment. The researchers did not follow one of the main rules, which is that under no circumstances should the researcher conduct research that causes participants severe stress.
Confidentiality was well kept in the Little Albert experiment. Only recently was it discovered who Little Albert really was and what had happened to him.
Due to the fact that Little Albert was only a baby he couldn’t really participate voluntarily in the experiment because he was still to young to be aware of what was happening, so it was the choice of his parent/guardian to make the decision whether the child would participate in the experiment or not. In this case, the child was taken out of a child care facility without the knowledge or consent of his parent/guardian (mother) whom, when finding out what was going on, was very angry and immediately removed her child from the child care facility and from further being involved in the experiment.
The researchers couldn’t do anything once the mother removed Little Albert from the experiment because of two main reasons: firstly, they had not even gotten consent to conduct the experiment on the child, and secondly, either way the participant would have the right to withdraw from the experiment without the need for explanation or anything of the sort.
Neither the participant nor the participants guardians were informed of the nature of the research solely because of the reason that they were unaware the experiment was even happening.
In this case there was no need for the use of deception if they had found a guardian who was willing to allow their child to the experiment, but due to the circumstances a very high level of deception was used because the parent/guardian was totally unaware the experiment was even taking place.
Due to the fact that once the mother found out the experiment was taking place she immediately removed her child from said experiment and therefore the experimenters were unable to debrief her of the unethical experiment they were already conducting.
Hypothesis Formation and Identification of Variables
1. Operationalized IV: Whether or not someone drinks more than five alcoholic drinks each night
Operationalized DV: The age at which one may suffer from memory loss
A possible research hypothesis: It is hypothesized that someone who drinks alcoholic drinks every night will suffer from memory loss at an earlier age than someone who doesn’t drink alcoholic drinks
A possible operationalized hypothesis: It is hypothesized that someone who drinks more than five alcoholic drinks each night will suffer from memory loss at an earlier age as measured by scores on a memory test, than someone who doesn’t drink any alcoholic drinks.
2. Operationalized IV: Whether or not students receive an award
Operationalized DV: The amount of time students engage in studying
A possible research hypothesis: It is hypothesized that students who receive a reward for studying will increase the amount of time they engage in studying.
A possible operationalized hypothesis: It is hypothesized that students who receive some type of reward for studying will increase the amount of time they engage in studying in comparison to those who do not receive a reward.
3. Operationalized IV: Whether or not the students eat breakfast in the morning
Operationalized DV: The outcome of the students VCE results
A possible research hypothesis: It is hypothesized that VCE students who eat