Ethical guidelines for animal research in Psychology10 January 2022 2022-01-10 13:52
Ethical guidelines for animal research in Psychology
On this page we will explore ethical guidelines for animal research in the Psychology study field. Because animals make up an important part of the natural world, and because some research cannot be conducted using humans, animals are also participants in psychological research. Most psychological research using animals is now conducted with rats, mice, and birds, and the use of other animals in research is declining. As with ethical decisions involving human participants, a set of basic principles has been developed that helps researchers make informed decisions about such research; a summary is shown below.
List of Guidelines on Humane Care and Use of Animals in Psychology Research
The following are some of the most important ethical principles from the American Psychological Association’s guidelines on research with animals:
- Psychologists acquire, care for, use, and dispose of animals in compliance with current federal, state, and local laws and regulations, and with professional standards.
- Psychologists trained in research methods and experienced in the care of laboratory animals supervise all procedures involving animals and are responsible for ensuring appropriate consideration of their comfort, health, and humane treatment.
- Psychologists ensure that all individuals under their supervision who are using animals have received instruction in research methods and in the care, maintenance, and handling of the species being used, to the extent appropriate to their role.
- Psychologists make reasonable efforts to minimize the discomfort, infection, illness, and pain of animal subjects.
- Psychologists use a procedure subjecting animals to pain, stress, or privation only when an alternative procedure is unavailable and the goal is justified by its prospective scientific, educational, or applied value.
- Psychologists perform surgical procedures under appropriate anesthesia and follow techniques to avoid infection and minimize pain during and after surgery.
- When it is appropriate that an animal’s life be terminated, psychologists proceed rapidly, with an effort to minimize pain and in accordance with accepted procedures. (American Psychological Association, 2002)
The Ethics of Using Animals in Research
Questions and Answers on ethical standards for animal research in Psychology
- Give an example from personal experience of how you or someone you know have benefited from the results of scientific research.
- Find and discuss a research project that in your opinion has ethical concerns. Explain why you find these concerns to be troubling.
- Indicate your personal feelings about the use of animals in research. When should and should not animals be used? What principles have you used to come to these conclusions?