Ethics in the Social Sciences Discussion

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The Tuskegee Syphilis Study violated the fairness principle from the Belmont Report. It is mostly worried about how fairly the results of a research are distributed. Unjust treatment happens when benefits to which a person is entitled are withheld without justification or when a person is unfairly burdened (The Belmont Report, 1979). In the Tuskegee Syphilis Study, the researcher employed the underprivileged rural black males to explore how a disease spreads unchecked. This, by no means, was not confined to the population. In fact, the subjects were not given demonstrably effective treatment, as to not cause interruptions in the project (Tuskegee Study - Timeline - CDC - NCHHSTP, 2017).

2.The beneficence principle was violated during the Milgram Experiment. The participants of the experiment were subjected to extremely stressful scenarios, which had the potential of causing psychological harm. A number of the participants were visibly distressed. Moreover, they were denied the right to withdraw from the experiment when they could not withstand the stressful conditions (Helm & Morelli, 1979). The participants displayed signs of tension - sweating, trembling, laughing nervously, stuttering, digging fingernails into the palms of hands, and biting lips, but they had no permission to withdraw their participation (McLeod, 2007).

3.There are situations in which the unethical research on the human subjects can be justified. These can be situations where providing the subjects with complete information at the outset regarding the study may alter the study`s outcome (Stemwedel, 2008). For instance, it can make it practically impossible to define what the study is trying to determine. Therefore, if such studies cannot be completely ruled out, conducting them necessitates concealment or deception, and this is justified.

Professionalism in the Social Sciences Discussion

1. The common themes which appear in all codes of ethics among the diverse social science disciplines include confidentiality, honesty, objectivity, carefulness, openness, responsible publication, responsible mentoring, non-discrimination, consent, human subjects’ protection, social responsibility, respect for colleagues, integrity, and reputation relating to their discipline. All these themes ensure that in any study there is justice, beneficence, and respect for people ("Code of Ethics (2009) | Ethics Codes Collection", 2009).

2. Professional conduct is crucial in social sciences for a number of reasons. Firstly, it promotes the research`s aims such as error avoidance, truth, and knowledge (Nind, Rix, Sheehy & Simmons, 2014). Also, professional conduct promotes the necessary values, which are important to the collaborative work, like mutual respect, fairness, accountability, and trust (Resnik, 2015). In addition, professional conduct in research promotes social and moral values such as human rights, social responsibility, public safety and health, and compliance with laws ("A Public Documentary on the History of Research Ethics", 2017). Violations of professional codes of conduct have potential consequences to both the violator and the ones who are being violated. The violated subjects can be harmed or killed, while the violator may be sued besides jeopardizing his safety and health or the safety and health of the students and staff (Resnik, 2015).

3. One can operate ethically in social sciences careers by abiding the professional codes of conduct to avoid harming or killing the subjects in a study. The ethical challenges which I anticipate in my future career can include respect for colleagues, animal care, and human subjects’ protection. I anticipate dealing with these challenges in my future career by adhering to the professional code of conduct that governs respect for colleagues, animal care and human subjects’ protection ("Rosalind Franklin: Great Minds", 2017).


A Public Documentary on the History of Research Ethics. (2017). YouTube. Retrieved 4 December 2017, from

Code of Ethics (2009) | Ethics Codes Collection. (2009). Retrieved 4 December 2017, from

Helm, C., & Morelli, M. (1979). Stanley Milgram and the Obedience Experiment. Political Theory, 7(3), 321-345.

McLeod, S. (2007). Milgram Experiment | Simply Psychology. Retrieved 4 December 2017, from

Nind, M., Rix, J., Sheehy, K., & Simmons, K. (2014). Ethics and Research in Inclusive Education. Hoboken: Taylor and Francis.

Resnik, D. (2015). What is Ethics in Research & Why is it Important?. National Institute of Environmental Health Services. Retrieved 4 December 2017, from

Rosalind Franklin: Great Minds. (2017). YouTube. Retrieved 4 December 2017, from

Stemwedel, J. (2008). What kind of deception of human subjects is acceptable?. Adventures in Ethics and Science. Retrieved 4 December 2017, from

The Belmont Report. (1979). Retrieved 4 December 2017, from

Tuskegee Study - Timeline - CDC - NCHHSTP. (2017). Retrieved 4 December 2017, from

April 06, 2023

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