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Webinar: (2016-06) New Ethical Challenges in Experimental Political Science

Over the past two decades, political scientists have adopted experimental methods to interact directly with subjects in the United States and globally. This new wave of field experimentation has produced some very public controversies. Researchers have created illegal attack advertisements during political campaigns, exposed subjects to risks of violence through experiments conducted in authoritarian regimes overseas, and even gone so far as to commit crimes to measure police responses. These recent controversies have contributed to distrust among the public and made apparent the need to consider the ethical implications of this experimental work. How can IRBs guide political scientists in conducting ethically sound research while continuing to generate valuable knowledge about the political, economic, and cultural sphere? (Presented on June 8, 2016)

Using case studies from global and domestic research, a political scientist and an ethicist:
  • Explored current landscapes and trends in experimental political science research
  • Described the way in which political scientists perceive the current ethical frameworks and regulations for evaluating political science research
  • Examined the role of the IRB in political science protocols as it relates to:
    • Granting exemptions
    • Assessing new types of risks and benefits
    • Evaluating waivers of informed consent, deception, and debriefing
    • Considering new issues of justice
  • Reviewed concepts of confidentiality and anonymity in the conduct of experiments and reporting of results
  • Presented an argument for continued ethics education for political scientists and ongoing dialogue between political scientists and IRB professionals

Learning Objectives

After attending this webinar, attendees were able to:
  • Understand the ethical implications of political science experiments and clarify the IRB’s role in addressing these challenges
  • Collaborate and communicate with other stakeholders in the research enterprise, including investigators and bodies outside the IRB, to improve processes and avoid future controversies

Who should attend?

This intermediate-level webinar was of value to IRB chairs, members, and staff; researchers and research staff; compliance personnel; institutional officials; and other members of the political and social science research enterprise.

Continuing Education
Webinar participants holding the Certified IRB Professional (CIP®) credential may apply 1.5 continuing education credits towards CIP recertification. Learn More »

Access Interval
Access to purchased content will be available for 90 days after the date of purchase. After 90 days, access to the content will be removed, but users will retain access to any certificates of attendance earned. Content purchased prior to January 1, 2021 will remain available indefinitely. After access has expired, users can purchase an additional 90 days of access.

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