Sample Essay on Ethics in Social Research


A good number of people perceive ethics or rather morals as the rules and regulations that discern between what is right and wrong. For instance, what a substantive number of us refer to as the golden rule ‘Do to other people what you expect to be done for’. Consequently, others depict it as codes of professional conduct such as the Hippocratic Oath ‘first and foremost, do no harm’. In others, this is deemed to be in the form of a religious creed like the ten (10) commandments. This paper seeks to clearly establish the correct definition of ethics in social research and also its importance. Also, the paper will provide for an in depth analysis on the characteristics of quantitative research, the advantages and disadvantages of of structured interviews in relation to self completion questionnaires and finally a brief summary of the sampling strategies that exist in the selection of a research population. Although there are numerous definitions, ethics in research can be defined as the norms for conduct that differentiate between acceptable and unacceptable behavior.


Ethics can generally be described as the self-regulatory rules and guidelines that aid an individual in making rational decisions and defining professions. By coming up with ethical codes, a number of professional entities are able to balance and uphold the integrity of the profession, come up with the expected code of conduct of their employees and protect the welfare of the subjects and the clients. In addition, code of ethics provides for professional direction to industrial experts and professionals especially in times when they are faced with confusing situations and ethical dilemmas. For instance, a researcher’s choice whether to purposefully mislead subjects or advise them about the genuine dangers or objectives of a dubious yet much‐needed examination. Numerous associations, for example, the American Sociological Association and the American Psychological Association, build moral standards and rules. Many of today’s social researchers maintains their separate associations’ moral standards (Trzesniewski, Donnellan and Lucas 2011: 24)

A substantive number of the human populations incept these ethical norms form diverse environments such as: school, church or in diverse social settings. Despite the fact that a significant percentage of people acquire the sense of discerning what is right and wrong when they are children, moral growth and development takes place throughout an individual’s life. It is also imperative to take note that human beings go through a number of stages as they mature. Moral standards are ubiquitous to the point that one may be enticed to view them as merely realistic. Then again, if ethical quality were simply realistic, then why are there so many moral debates and issues in our general public? One conceivable explanation of these differences is that all individuals perceive some normal moral standards yet diverse people decipher, apply, and maintain these standards in distinctive routes in light of their own qualities and backgrounds.

Importance of adherence to ethical norms in research

There are a few reasons as to why it is imperative to adhere to ethical norms in a research study. To begin with, ethical norms have a significant influence on the objective of the research such as: truth, ability to reduce discrepancies and knowledge. For instance, restrictions against misinterpreting, falsifying or     fabricating research information amount to accuracy and precision. On the other hand, the fact that research encompasses a great deal of coordination and cooperation, code of ethics promotes the values that are pertinent to teamwork like accountability, trust, fairness and mutual respect. For instance, numerous moral standards in research, for example, rules for authorship, copyright and licensing strategies, information sharing policies and procedures, and confidentiality rules in peer survey, are intended to ensure licensed innovation investments while empowering joint effort (Brown 2014: 18). Most specialists need to be recognized for their commitments and would prefer not to have their thoughts stolen or unveiled prematurely.

Third, a significant percentage of the moral standards help to guarantee that specialists can be considered responsible to the general population. Case in point, government approaches on research indiscipline, internal conflicts, the human subjects’ securities, and creature mind and utilization are important so as to verify that specialists who are financed by the public can be considered responsible to people in general. Fourth, Punch (2013: 9) explores that moral standards in exploration likewise help to gather support for research. Individuals more inclined to store research venture in the event that they can believe the quality and respectability of the research. Lastly, a significant number of the standards of research advance an assortment of other paramount good and social qualities, for example, social obligation, human rights, animal welfare, agree-ability with the law, and well-being and security. Moral lapses in a research can essentially hurt human and animal subjects, understudies, and general society. For instance, a scientist who tampers with information in a clinical trial may damage or even kill patients and an analyst who neglects to submit to regulations and rules identifying with radiation or natural security may imperil his well-being and security or the well-being and security of staff and understudies.

Characteristics of Quantitative Research

Quantitative research is a bland term for investigative systems depicted as naturalistic, field, ethnographic, anthropological or member onlooker research. It underscores the vitality of taking a gander at variables in the regular setting in which they are found. Collaboration between variables is vital. Definite information is assembled through open ended inquiries that give immediate citations. The interviewer is an indispensable piece of the examination (Creswell 2013: 44). This varies from quantitative exploration which endeavors to assemble information by target strategies to give data about relations, examinations, and expectations and endeavors to expel the agent from the examination. The following are a percentage of the qualities:

  • Purpose: Understanding – Seeks to comprehend individuals’ translations
  • Reality: Dynamic – Reality changes with changes in individuals’ recognitions.
  • Viewpoint: Insider – Reality is the thing that individuals see it to be.
  • Values: Value bound – Values will have an effect and ought to be comprehended and considered when leading and reporting exploration.
  • Focus: Holistic – An aggregate or complete picture is looked for.
  • Orientation: Discovery – Theories and speculations are advanced from information as gathered.
  • Data: Subjective – Data are view of the individuals in the nature’s turf.
  • Instrumentation: Human – The human individual is the essential accumulation instrument.
  • Conditions: Naturalistic – Investigations are directed under regular conditions.
  • Results: Valid – The center is on outline and methodology to add to “true,” “rich “and” deep information”.

Advantages of Structured Interviews

  • Institutionalized inquiries make the procedure productive. All respondents answer the same inquiries with the goal that answers can be effortlessly analyzed and patterns watched (Heiervang and Goodman 2011: 24)
  • The organized meeting can be effectively rehearsed to check the unwavering quality of the information.
  • The meeting can stretch his line of addressing. The respondent can give more detailed reactions.
  • Organized meetings offer a wealthier, more far reaching perspective of an issue.
  • The professional interviewer can rethink inquiries or adjust tone or way to suit the interviewee.

Disadvantages of Structured Interviews

  • The interviewee is restricted in respect to what answers he can give (Bryman 2012:23).
  • The meeting impact – the identity of the questioner may impact what answers are given by the interviewee. This may make the results temperamental.
  • The meeting impact – The interviewee may distort reality to make himself appear to be all the more socially worthy.
  • The methodology is more unpredictable, more time intensive and more lavish than an organized methodology. You are likewise prone to focus on a more modest example.
  • Unstructured meetings are hard to rehearse in the event that you have to test the unwavering quality of the information Heiervang and Goodman 2011: 24).
  • The meeting impact and the interviewee impact may happen.
  • The questioner needs to be gifted at ‘opening up’ the discuss

Different sampling Strategies that Exist for Selecting a Research Population

Probability Sampling

When you need an example that looks much the same as your study populace, you’ll need to utilize one of two sorts of sampling: random sampling and stratified sampling (Bryman 2012: 18).

  • Arbitrary/Random Sampling:  a system for selecting a specimen (arbitrary example) from a measurable populace in such a route, to the point that each conceivable specimen that could be chosen has a predetermined likelihood of being chosen.
  • Stratified Sampling: Stratified sampling is a likelihood testing system wherein the analyst separates the whole populace into diverse subgroups or strata, then arbitrarily chooses the last subjects relatively from the distinctive strata.

Non-Probability Sampling

Bryman and Bell (2011: 24) explain that although probability sampling has the advantage of creating a well-balanced data set (or diet), non-probability sampling is more frequently used for a variety of reasons. They include:

  • Quota sampling: A sampling method of gathering representative data from a group. As opposed to random sampling, quota sampling requires that representative individuals are chosen out of a specific subgroup.
  • Purposive Sampling: Is a non-illustrative subset of a larger populace, and is developed to serve a particular need or reason. An analyst may have a particular gathering as a primary concern, for example, abnormal state business administrators. It may not be conceivable to detail the populace – they would not all be known, and access will be troublesome. The analyst will endeavor to focus in on the target gathering, questioning whoever is accessible.
  • Convenience Sampling: A convenience sample is a matter of taking what you can get. It is an unplanned example. Despite the fact that choice may be unguided, it presumably is not irregular, utilizing the right meaning of everybody in the populace having an equivalent shot of being chosen. Volunteers would make up a convenience sample

Problems that are Associated with Secondary Data

A significant limitation of utilizing secondary information is that it may not answer the scientist’s particular research objectives or contain particular data that the specialist might want to have. Then again it might not have been gathered in the geographic area sought, in the years desired, or the particular populace that the analyst is intrigued to carry out a research on. Since the scientist did not gather the information, he or she has no power over what is contained in the information set. Periodically this can confine the investigation or modify the first inquiries the analyst searched out to establish. A related issue is that the variables may have been characterized or ordered uniquely in contrast to the analyst would have picked. For instance, age may have been gathered in classifications as opposed to as an issue variable, or race may be characterized as “White” and “Other” as opposed to containing each real race class (May 2011: 37).

An alternate significant hindrance to utilizing auxiliary information is that the scientist/examiner does not know precisely how the information accumulation procedure was carried out and how well it was carried out. The analyst is subsequently not typically conscious of data about how truly the information are influenced by issues, for example, low reaction rate or respondent mistaken assumption of particular overview questions. At times this data is promptly accessible, as is the situation with numerous government information sets. Then again, numerous other auxiliary information sets are not joined by this kind of data and the expert must figure out how to find some hidden meaning and consider what issues may have been experienced in the information accumulation process.


Research morals are a paramount piece of expert life of each scientist and it impacts society in various ways. Be that as it may, view of morals, its standards and its importance might essentially fluctuate between people, orders, and nations (Pole 2012: 22). Diverse recognitions and absence of mindfulness have prompted disputable discussions about the profits of science, advancement and new advances, and in addition the societal obligation of analysts. More youthful scientists may be especially influenced, as they once in a while have the chance to examine important issues. In a period of computerized science, where data correspondence innovations are both the subject of and an apparatus for exploration, correspondence and joint effort, moral issues are picking up progressively in imperativeness. The point of this intuitive round table is to bring issues to light and examine the significance of moral standards in exploration and science from alternate points of view. Beside order arranged contemplations, (for example, ICT, life and bio science), the center will likewise be on elements impacting specialists’ professions, including distinctive methods for giving preparing on the capable behavior of exploration and examination morals. This roundtable plans to trigger a trade of perspectives from conspicuous benefactors and the crowd on this most essential, yet time and again neglected, territory of examination practice.


  • Babbie, E. 2012. The practice of social research. Cengage Learning.
  • Brown, M. 2014, July. Importance and impact of research ethics on industry. In 2014 ADSA-ASAS-CSAS Joint Annual Meeting. Asas.
  • Bryman, A. 2012. Social research methods. Oxford university press.
  • Bryman, A., & Bell, E. 2011. Business Research Methods 3e. Oxford university press.
  • Creswell, J. W. 2013. Research design: Qualitative, quantitative, and mixed methods approaches. Sage.
  • Heiervang, E., & Goodman, R. (2011). Advantages and limitations of web-based surveys: evidence from a child mental health survey. Social psychiatry and psychiatric epidemiology, 46(1), 69-76.
  • May, T. 2011. Social research: Issues, methods and research. McGraw-Hill International.
  • Pickard, A. J. 2013. Research methods in information. Facet Publishers.
  • Pole, C. 2012. Ethics in Social research (Vol. 12). K. Love (Ed.). Emerald Group Publishing.
  • Punch, K. F. (2013). Introduction to social research: Quantitative and qualitative approaches. Sage.
  • Trzesniewski, K. H., Donnellan, M., & Lucas, R. E. 2011. Secondary data analysis: An introduction for psychologists. American Psychological Association.
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