Ethical Issues in Researching Media Violence Effects

Ethical issues that arise from researching potential effects of violent media on audiences parallel the ethical issues that arise from researching other social phenomena. The study of violent media effects necessarily involves human participants who answer survey questions, contribute to focus groups, respond to in-depth interviews, participate in laboratory or field experiments, and so on. The interests of participants presumably are balanced with the interests of the research. Scholars who conduct this research are asked by review mechanisms such as institutional review boards (IRBs) to set aside their ambitions and prejudices in favor of participants’ safety and the priority of science.

Trust in the processes of scientific research and acceptance of research evidence is based, in part, on assurances that research is conducted and reported ethically. ...

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