Evidence of Applied Ethics
Experience: EEG Methodology project
Supervisor: Dr. David Nichols
Semester: data collected from Fall 2014 through Fall 2015
Assignment Description: This project was one of my own design meant to investigate the factors that affected the quality of event-related potential (ERP) data in an attempt to make data collection more efficient in the future.
Reflection: This project improved my understanding of ethical principles because during data collection we experienced many issues with our participants. We had participants who left partway through the 30 minute experiment, participants who insulted us, participants who ignored instructions, and a great deal of data that would be unusable in an ERP study. Collecting data was far more frustrating than we had ever expected and for some reason was much more difficult than an early EEG study I had collected data for. Despite all of the challenges, however, our team had to keep ethical principles in mind and treat even the rudest participants ethically. In some respects, this was easy because it was the right thing to do, but it was also difficult when participants were particularly frustrating. Participant-related frustration is something that I think every researcher who uses live subjects has to deal with, however, so the experience was a very good lesson in patience and in being sure to uphold proper ethical standards even if it is not the easiest thing to do.