David Bourget (Western Ontario)
David Chalmers (ANU, NYU)
Rafael De Clercq
Jack Alan Reynolds
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Ethics and Behavior 2 (2):109 – 121 (1992)
Because they failed to include our informed consent, guided imagery scenarios, and debriefing, the relevance of Korn, Huelsman, Reed, and Aiello's (1992) data remains unknown. The design of their Study 1 did not test the greater objectivity of role taking over involved participation. The design of their Study 2 did not demonstrate the effects of demand characteristics. The older "personal acquaintances" were not at higher risk of rape as they claimed. Properly gathered data from the University of Connecticut's laboratory demonstrated that participants regarded the guided imagining of rape to be personally and scientifically beneficial, educating them about the crime and the experience of the rape victim. Prior research had demonstrated that exposure to rape stimuli in combination with debriefing had an educational effect on the decreased endorsement of rape myths. Previously published ethical principles for balancing the rights of scientists, subjects, and society explicate our ethical stance. Informed consent precludes the occurrence of wrongful harms. This poorly designed and poorly reasoned "ethical" critique was unfounded; yet, it might produce a chilling effect on both the use of guided imagery and freedom of inquiry into politically sensitive topics.
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