Tuesday, November 23, 2010

Does the Institutional Review Board System Encourage Deceit?

I have much to criticize about the Institutional Review Board (IRB) system, which requires all psychological experiments to be reviewed for ethical concerns before they are implemented. The institutional review system was formed for medical research, where it was needed, but its scope expanded to include psychology, sociology and even history departments, where it has done all sorts of harm. For instance, IRBs can not only fail to ensure ethical standards but can actually lower ethical standards[pdf link] by motivating researchers to submit deceptive proposals.

For a complete work on the problems with the IRB system in the social sciences, see Ethical Imperialism: Institutional Review Boards and the Social Sciences, 1965-2009 by Zachary M. Schrag.


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