Research Review and Ethics
The Department of Psychology's Research Review and Ethics Committee is a sub-committee of the University's Institutional Review Board for the Protection of Human Subjects in Research (IRB) that is authorized to review and approve studies that involve human participants or records from human participants that involve no more than minimal risk and will not receive federal funding. All proposals that receive federal funding or are judged by the Department of Psychology's Research Review and Ethics Committee as involving more than minimal risk must be submitted to and approved by the IRB. Learn more from the link in the For More Information box on this page.
All forms, questionnaires or instruments to be used, and copies of other materials which the participants will experience must be submitted to the chair of the committee. The required forms are located in a shared Google drive. To gain access to this shared drive, please contact the Chair of the RREC, Lee Dixon using the link in the For More Information box on this page.
Once the proposal has been approved by the committee, the chair of the committee will inform the faculty sponsor of the research and the PSY 101 Research Coordinator. The PSY 101 Research Coordinator will activate the study in the SONA System, which will allow time slot posting for student participants. Participants and testing cannot be started until approval from the committee.
Your Responsibilities as a Researcher:
As a researcher you must follow the American Psychological Association's (APA) guidelines for the Ethical Principles of Psychologists and Code of Conduct, and in particular section eight of that code. You can access the APA website from the link in the For More Information box on this page. The federal government also maintains important rules for research involving human participants or records of their participation (45 CFR 46). These guidelines and laws include but are not limited to the following responsibilities of researchers:
- Do not recruit or test participants until your study has been approved by the committee.
- Get informed consent from all participants or their legal guardians if the participant is less than legal age or unable to give consent. If the participant is less than legal age, consider also gaining assent from the participant.
- Maintain confidentiality and / or anonymity of your participants and the data they provide as specified in the consent form.
- Treat the participants with respect and dignity. Besides being pleasant and professional with the participants, this includes showing up on time.
- Make it clear to each participant that they do not have to participate, can stop participating at any time, and may leave any and/or all questions blank without risk to benefits to which they are otherwise entitled (such as receiving their research credit.)
- Debrief the participants and answer their questions at the end of their participation.
- Immediately report all adverse events that arise in your study to the committee.
- Get approval from the committee for all changes to your study prior to implementing the changes unless such a delay would increase the risk of harm to your participant. In such cases, the committee is to be informed of the changes as soon as possible.