20 Apr 2022


Benchmark Ethical Studies

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Ethics in the context of studies, aspects of research, data analysis, peer review, grant writing, experimental design, and data interpretation refers to the required standards of conduct when dealing with data, animals, people, or communication (Farrimond, 2012). Notably, in the Stanford prison experiment, ethical standards were observed in terms of an advertisement for volunteers being made, as such, ensuring that all participants partook of the activity out of their will. The principle of voluntary participation limits the coercion of people to participate in a learning activity (Miller et al., 2012). Another notable ethical conduct in the research was the fact that the subjects had been passed through medical assessment to evaluate their health status. On the contrary, the research also violated the doctrine of human rights protection. Zimbardo participants were subjected to inhumane acts such as solitary confinement and physical punishment.

On the other hand, The Tuskegee Experiment, ethically speaking, is documented as having been deeply, profoundly, and morally wrong. First, the experiment violated the rule of non-discrimination based on gender and ethnicity (Farrimond, 2012). In this experiment, the United States Public Health Service (USPHS) used 399 black men as subjects of a syphilis test. Second, ethical research dictates that subjects should have the informed consent of whatever it is they would be involving themselves with. They should be aware of the procedures and the risks involved in the experiment. However, in the Tuskegee experiment, USPHS deliberately lied to the participants that they were being treated for bad blood and also left to suffer from attached diseases of syphilis such as paralysis, blindness, death but to name a few. On the contrary, one ethical practice in this experiment is the consent of the participants to take part in the research. 

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Markedly, the research concerning the executive monkeys has brought forth considerable discussion on the unmet ethical standards of conduct while dealing with animal subjects of research. In this setting, the monkeys participated in pairs, one as the “executive” and the other as the “yoked.” The executive was treated in a seemingly humane manner since it was allowed to press the lever prior to sensitivity once the electric shock had been induced. However, what was unethical was subjecting the other animal of the pair, the “yoked,” to full pain of electric shock and not allowed to press the lever to stop it. Consequently, the whole experiment contravened the ethical standards of experimenting with animals humanely as possible (Garret, 2012). As such it caused them suffering and illnesses such as gastric ulceration, consequently bringing death upon them. 

Progressively, in the Stanford prison experiment, I would change the setting of the experiment to accommodate the participants through ensuring they will not be subjected to extreme acts of human rights violations. This will entail no punishments, no solitary confinements that would cause psychological implications, and limiting punishments from severe to mild. In the Tuskegee’s experiment, there would be no discrimination as such incorporate men and women from every race. I would further ensure that participants are aware of what the experiment is about and as such ensure that they consent to it. Finally, Garret (2012) suggests that ethics is complacent to the idea of treating animals humanly as possible. As such, in the experiment involving monkeys, I would limit the experiment to mild shock to the extent that it would not bring forth any health issues and complications. 

In essence, I cannot replicate these studies today. Firstly because, the experiments will not gather public support and will therefore not be given any state funding. Second, the research does not consider the moral and social values such as human rights, non-discrimination, animal welfare, and public health and safety (Miller et al., 2012). Therefore, the above parameters are the hindrances that will not allow replication of the mentioned above studies.


Farrimond, H. (2012). Doing Ethical Research . Macmillan Education 

Garret, J.R. (2012). The Ethics of Animal Research: Exploring the Controversy . MIT Press

Miller, T. et al. (2012). Ethics in Qualitative Research . SAGE 

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StudyBounty. (2023, September 15). Benchmark Ethical Studies.


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