Psychology -> Area of Study 3: Research methods: participants' rights, confidentiality, voluntary participation, withdrawal rights
Participants' rights: confidentiality, voluntary participation, withdrawal rights
Confidentiality refers to the principle that all personal information and responses of the participants in an experiment must not be revealed without their permission. Questionnaires or any data collecting devices should not display any of the participants' personal details and, should the researcher need to retest in the course of a longitudinal study, information identifying the participants must be kept separate from their responses.
In any psychological study, participants must be involved on a voluntary basis, i.e. they are given the freedom to decline participation. Participants must not be coerced, given inducements or threatened in any way. If they are given a payment, it should only be to cover any costs incurred in being involved in the study rather than serving as a money making exercise. Participants should be told that they are free to withdraw at any stage of the study so their welfare is not compromised in any way.
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