Week 8 — ERC Case Studies

Activity — the aim of this activity is to place myself in the shoes of the Ethics Review Committees and use the case studies to answer the discussions points.

What is an Ethics Review Committee (ERC)?

According to the World Health Organisation (WHO), an Ethics Review committee is a member established and appointed by the Director which review the research project.

Case Study 1

Tyrone wants to study the impact of violent games on people’s attitudes toward violence in real life. He plans to test 14–16 yr olds because he believes they are still young enough to be highly impressionable. He will solicit volunteers to come after school. Half will be assigned to play one hour of a violent game while the other half will play an hour of a game that involves no violence. After the hour, all participants will fill out a questionnaire about their attitudes toward violence.

Discussion points:

- What additional information might you want to know about the study in order to decide whether or not it should be approved?

It is important to understand that many, if not all, violent games will be Rated at a ‘18’, meaning this is aimed for 18 years and over. I understand that many 18 rated games are played by younger audiences, games such as Call of duty and GTA. Therefore, Tyrone must think about parentals permission. As Tyrone wants this to take place after school, he may be required to have parents or guardians alongside the pupils. If this is not possible, Tyrone should consider getting a signed form by parents or guardians who give permission.

- What are the benefits that might result from this research? What are the potential harms?

The benefit of this would be to see how the pupils react to the type of game they play. Tyrone would be able to assess what motivates them to continue playing and see how they react when they lose or win.

- If you were on an IRB reviewing this proposal, what would your recommendation be?

My recommendation would be to look into past events and see what protocol have been set in place. Fully understand the safety ethics and set preparations for if the situation was to go out of hands. Understand that as this will be an after-school event, pupils will react differently as to when during school time.

Case Study 2

Charlotte wants to research the effect of labelling students (gifted vs struggling) on their achievement in the first year of HE. She proposes that students be divided into reading groups in which ability levels are evenly mixed. One group will be told they are gifted readers, another group will be told that they are struggling readers, and a third group will be told nothing at all. Charlotte’s hypothesis states that by the end of the year, the students in the ‘gifted’ level group will outperform those in the ‘struggling’ group on the same reading test.

Discussion Points:

- What additional information might you want to know about the study in order to decide whether or not it should be approved?

Charlotte should inform the individuals that they will be tested during the year. This may have a knock-on effect on those who are labelled as ‘struggling’. By informing then, they may put an extra effort into their studies.

- What are the benefits that might result from this research? What are the potential harms?

There’s are a chance the students will be more motivated in order to do better. But this can also lead to the fact that some students will accept that they are not bright enough to study and may lead to much worse result.

- If you were on an IRB reviewing this proposal, what would your recommendation be?

I would advise Charlotte to rethink how she approaches her research. It would be best finding an alternative, perhaps for a shorter task rather than the year long assessment. I like the idea of the research, but this will lead to major disadvantages causes significant impact on their studies.

REF

Falmouth University, November 2020, Week 8: Spark Forum, Falmouth University, Viewed on November 2020, Available at <https://flex.falmouth.ac.uk/courses/872/discussion_topics/18640?module_item_id=46491>

Student At Falmouth University (Online Studies) — MA User Experience Design