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British Psychological Society Ethics Research Paper

Though this document does not claim to provide an exhaustive list of situations where work with animals may be required for the purposes of teaching, research, observation, etc, it nevertheless aims to provide a series of general guidelines for our members who may find themselves working with animals, as well as outlining the legal and moral responsibilities inherent to this work.

All psychologists who work with animals are encouraged to stay up to date with current developments in animal welfare, as well as new ways of reducing the number of animals required for procedures, and ongoing refinements designed to enhance the welfare of the animals concerned.

Members should also be aware of the provisions laid out by the Animals (Scientific Procedures) Act 1986 and always ensure to adhere to the BPS Code of Ethics and Conduct.

For further information, please consult the documents below:

BPS Guidelines for Psychologists Working with Animals (2012).pdf

Research Board Statement of Policy on the Use of Animals in Psychology (2012).pdf

Internet-mediated research (IMR) in particular can raise challenges in adhering to existing ethics principles.

In this document we outline some of the key ethics issues which researchers and research ethics committees are advised to keep in mind when considering implementing or evaluating an IMR study, as well as what special considerations may apply.

The guidelines have been collected under four distinct sets of principles, which are:

  1. Respect for the Autonomy, Privacy and Dignity of Individuals and Communities

  2. Scientific Integrity

  3. Social Responsibility

  4. Maximising Benefits and Minimising Harm

This document is not intended to provide a comprehensive list of all the potential issues which you may encounter when conducting internet-mediated research however, and we encourage all Society members to take into account the fundamental principles of research ethics as laid out in the BPS Code of Ethics and Conduct and the BPS Code of Human Research Ethics when designing and performing their studies.

Ethics Guidelines for Internet-mediated Research (2017).pdf

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