Studying Racial Bias
Too Hot to Handle?
Students evaluate a research proposal to determine if it is consistent with ethical principles and federal guidelines for conducting research with human subjects. The case can be taught either as a discussion case or using role-playing. This case was developed to be used in a seminar on prejudice and racism. It could also be used in a general diversity course, research methods course, or social psychology course.
- Learn about the role of Institutional Review Boards (IRBs) in protecting the welfare of research participants.
- Illustrate the major areas of concern that IRBs address in their reviews of proposed research: informed consent, risks, and benefits.
- Discover the differences in perspectives between those with and without power in society and the subjectivity of the judgments that the IRB must make.
- Clarify the difference between individual racism and institutional racism.
- Develop listening skills and analytical skills as well as an appreciation for different values and perspectives.
- Illustrate how research can be used both to increase our understanding of human behavior and make societal changes to address issues of social justice.
KeywordsRacial bias; racism; research methods; human subject; informed consent; beneficence; confidentiality; deception; Institutional Review Board; IRB; experimental design
Topical AreasEthics, Legal issues, Scientific method, Social issues, Social justice issues
Educational LevelUndergraduate lower division, Undergraduate upper division, Graduate
Type / MethodsAnalysis (Issues), Discussion, Role-Play
Subject HeadingsPsychology | Science (General) | Sociology |