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Importance of Ethical Practices in Working with Human Participants Discussion

Importance of Ethical Practices in Working with Human Participants Discussion


Instructions: There are 2 responses. Read each response. Write  a 75 word response for each response. 

Response 1.) Deborah   

Discuss the importance of ethical practices in working with human participants in research. Describe the three concerns as addressed in the Belmont Report. How will you structure your research to avoid harming participants?

It is important to stand by ethical principles in order to protect the dignity, rights and welfare of human research participants. All research involving human beings should be reviewed by an ethics committee to ensure that the appropriate ethical standards are being upheld.  The three concerns that were stated in the report were respect for person, beneficence, and justice.

Respect for a person is that individuals should be treated with respect from the time they are approached for possible participation even if they refuse enrollment in a study, throughout the participation, and after participation ends.. Beneficence is the principle where researchers must also protect participants from exploitation, and any information provided by participants through their study involvement must be protected.  Respect for justice  refers to the obligation to treat people fairly and equitably.  It is also under this principle that potential participants cannot suffer negative or unfair consequences if they opt out of the study. 

In order to protect my and avoid harming participants in my research, I will obtained informed consent, protect the anonymity and confidentiality.  I will provide my participant with the right to withdraw from my research at any time.


Belmont Report (1979).  Ethical Principals and Guidelines for the Protection of Human Subjects of Research

Response 2.)  Carter 

Schwadt (2015) suggests that ethics are simply the rationale for the researcher’s actions that impact others. A researcher’s ethics guide many decisions in the research process, including choices made related to recruiting participants, storing data, and developing the research instrument (Burkholder et al., 2020). If researchers are careless or uncaring in the development of a research project, human beings may be physically or mentally harmed as a result. 

History illustrates that corrupt researchers may callously ignore participant well-being in pursuit of their goals (Burkholder et al., 2020; U.S. Department of Health and Human Services [DHHS], 2022). In response to atrocities committed by German and American researchers, the National Research Act (NRA) was passed in 1974 (Burkholder et al., 2020). A byproduct of the NRA is the Belmont report which outlined basic ethical principles that should guide research involving human subjects (Burkholder et al., 2020; DHHS, 2022). These principles include respect for persons, beneficence, and justice.

Respect for persons refers to the researcher respecting the autonomy of the participants (Burkholder et al., 2020; DHHS, 2022). That is, the participants have free will and their own opinions that the researcher must respect (DHHS, 2022). Additionally, the researchers must protect participants with diminished autonomy or exclude them from the study(DHHS, 2022). The Belmont Report uses prisoners as an example of participants with diminished autonomy that must be protected (DHHS, 2022).

Beneficence requires the researcher to avoid harming participants while simultaneously promoting their well-being (DHHS, 2022). In addition, beneficence weighs the benefits of the research with the possible harm caused to respondents (DHHS, 2022). Beneficence suggests that researchers should maximize the benefits achieved through research. Justice relates to the overall fairness of the research to potential participants and possible recipients of any benefits from the research results (Burkholder et al., 2020; DHHS, 2022). 

Early on in the development of my research topic, I conducted an informal cost-benefit analysis of my study. I concluded that the benefits of my study may include new knowledge or skills that may benefit those in the agritourism industry (Burkholder et al., 2020). I considered the costs to be minimal or no greater than the risks associated with everyday life (Burkholder et al., 2020). 

My research is structured in several ways to avoid harm to research participants. Firstly, my research employs an informed consent form to inform prospective participants of the details of the study (Burkholder et al., 2020; DHHS, 2022). As my interview subjects are professional managers, I do not believe that I will be working with vulnerable populations or individuals with diminished autonomy.  Secondly, my research will not include deception. That is, I will not withhold information or manipulate information provided to participants (Burkholder et al., 2020). Finally, the process my research utilizes for selecting prospects, maximum variation sampling, promotes fairness through selecting participants from diverse agritourism venues. 


Burkholder, G. J., Cox, K. A., Crawford, L. M., & Hitchcock, J. H. (2019). Research design and methods: An applied guide for the scholar-practitioner. SAGE Publications.

Schwandt, T. A. (2015). The SAGE dictionary of qualitative inquiry (4th ed.). SAGE Publications.

U.S. Department of Health and Human Services. (2022, September 27). Read the Belmont report.

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