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Published by: narayan on Mar 21, 2009
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By Ryna Nazareth
Ethical questions are philosophical questions
Ethical questions are philosophical questions. There is no generalagreement among philosophers about the answers to such questions.However, the rights and obligations of the individuals are generally dictated by the norms of the society. The societal norms are codes of the behavioadopted by a group; they suggest what a member of a group ought to dounder any given circumstances. Some of the ethical principles are asfollows:1.To maintain high standards of competence and integrity in research.2.To maintain the highest level of business and professional conductand to comply with Federal, State and local laws, regulations andordinances applicable to my business practices and those of mycompany.3.To exercise all reasonable care and to observe the best standards of objectivity and accuracy in the development, collection, processingand reporting research information. To protect the anonymity of respondents and hold all information concerning an individualrespondent privileged, such that this information is used onlywithin the context of the particular study.4.To thoroughly instruct and supervise all persons for whose work Iam responsible in accordance with study specifications and generalresearch techniques.5.To observe the rights of ownership of all materials received fromand/or developed for clients, and to keep in confidence all research
techniques, data and other information considered confidential bytheir owners.
To make available to clients such details on the research methodsand techniques of an assignment as may be reasonably required for  proper interpretation of the data, providing this reporting does notviolate the confidence of respondents or clients.7.To promote the trust of the public for marketing and surveyresearch activities and to avoid any procedure, which misrepresentthe activities of a respondent, the rewards of cooperation or theuses of the data.8.To refrain from referring to membership in this organization as proof of competence, since the organization does not so certify any person or organization.9.To encourage the observance of principles of this code among all people engaged in research.
General rights and obligations of the concerned parties
In most research situation three parties are involved: the researcher,the sponsoring client (user), and the respondent (subject). The interaction of each of these parties with one or both of the other two identifies a series of ethical questions. Consciously or unconsciously, each party expects certainrights and feels and certain obligations towards the other parties. Within anysociety there is a set of normatively prescribed exceptions of the behavior (including rights and obligations) associated with the social role, such asresearcher, and another, reciprocal role, such as a respondent. Certain ethical behaviors may be expected only in certain specific situations, while other exceptions may be more generalized. If there are conflicting perspectivesabout behavioral exceptions, ethical problems may arise. For instance,
several ethical issues concern the researchers expected right versus those of the respondent/subject. A number of questions arise because the researchers believe that they have the right to seek information, but subject believe thatthey have a certain right privacy. A respondent who says “I do not care toanswer your question about your income” believes that he or she has therights to refuse to participate. Yet some researchers will persist in trying toget that information. In general, a field worker is not expected to overstepthe boundary society places to individuals’ privacy.For each of the subject’s rights there is a corresponding obligation onthe part the researcher. For example, the individual’s right to privacy dictatesthat the researcher has an obligation to protect the anonymity of therespondent. When a respondent discloses information about the personalmatters, it is assumed that such information will be guarded from all peopleother than the researcher.
Rights and Obligations of the Respondent
By Austin Pinto
The ethical issues vary somewhat, depending on whether the participant has given willing and informed consent. The notion of Informedconsent means that an individual understands the reason for the research andwaives his or her right to privacy when he or she agrees to participate in theresearch study. (The rights of a participant in an unobtrusive observationstudy differ from a survey respondent's rights because he or she has notwillingly consented to be a subject of the research.)In return for being truthful, the survey respondent has the right toexpect confidentiality and anonymity. (Privacy refers to the issue of whether a respondent chooses to answer a researcher’s questions; a person maychoose to protect her privacy by not answering. Confidentiality refers to the

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