APA Ethical Principles

as They Apply to Research with Human Participants



A. Competence: Strive to maintain high standards of competence in your work.

B. Integrity: Be as honest and fair as you possibly can.

C. Scientific Responsibility: Uphold professional standards in the conduct of your work. Consult with, refer to, and cooperate with other professionals and institutions.

D. Respect for Peopleís Rights and Dignity: Respect the rights of the individuals you work with to privacy, confidentiality, self-determination and autonomy.

E. Concern for Otherís Welfare: Contribute to the welfare of those you interact with. Be sensitive to the differences in power between yourself and others.

F. Social Responsibility: Contribute to your community by considering the practical benefits of your work and sharing your knowledge.



Institutional Approval

1. Submit a proposal to the Institutional Review Board at Colgate.

2. Obtain approval from other host institutions.


Informed Consent

1. Inform potential participants of the procedures and, if possible, the purpose of your study.

2. Be sure that potential participants are aware that they may choose not to participate without cost to them (they still receive the credit). If they choose to participate, they are free to withdraw at any time.

3. Have participants sign a consent form.

4. For people legally incapable of consenting, get their consent and that of their legal guardian.

5. Obtain consent to tape record or videotape.

6. Obtain consent to use participants data for additional purposes.


Privacy and Confidentiality

1. Inform participants of the level of confidentiality that you will be able to provide before obtaining their consent.

2. Use information collected from participants only for research purposes. Avoid the temptation to discuss the performance of individuals with others when it is not necessary.

3. Use a numeric coding scheme in order to separate participants names from their data. Keep identifying information in a locked file cabinet.

4. Minimize intrusions on privacy. Ask only for information that is central to testing your hypotheses.

5. Use identifying data in presentations only if you have the written consent of the individual participants. This applies to the use of videotapes, quotes, pictures, etc.



1. Use deception only when it is justified by the potential scientific value of the research and procedures not using deception are not feasible.

2. Never deceive participants about aspects of the study that would influence their willingness to participate (physical risks, discomfort or other unpleasantness).

3. Reveal the deception and explain its purposes as soon as possible.


Sharing Information about the Study

1. Prepare a debriefing statement to deliver at the end of the experiment. If this statement can not include the true purposes of the study, send a complete explanation by mail as soon as possible.

2. If at all possible, offer to send students a summary of the results of the study.

3. To the degree that you can, share your results with other interested parties.

4. Be sure to follow through with commitments made.