Association for Behavior Analysis International

The Association for Behavior Analysis International® (ABAI) is a nonprofit membership organization with the mission to contribute to the well-being of society by developing, enhancing, and supporting the growth and vitality of the science of behavior analysis through research, education, and practice.


47th Annual Convention; Online; 2021

All times listed are Eastern time (GMT-4 at the time of the convention in May).

Event Details

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Paper Session #71
Research in the Era of COVID-19: Best Practices for Conducting Ethical Research via Virtual Platforms
Saturday, May 29, 2021
11:30 AM–11:55 AM
Area: PCH
Instruction Level: Basic
Chair: Natalie Donisi (Rowan University)

Research in the Era of COVID-19: Best Practices for Conducting Ethical Research via Virtual Platforms

Domain: Theory
NATALIE DONISI (Rowan Unviersity), Bethany R. Raiff (Rowan University), Matthew J Dwyer (Rowan University)

Online crowdsourcing platforms have revolutionized 21st century social science research. With sites like Amazon Mechanical Turk and Reddit, researchers can rapidly recruit large, representative samples at a low cost. In the wake of the COVID-19 pandemic, this trend is likely to continue, as researchers pivot to conducting human subject research virtually. Despite this proliferation of online research, extant guidelines for ethical research are written for in-person recruitment and do not provide guidance sensitive enough for potential ethical pitfalls unique to virtual platforms. In this paper, we provide a review of the current guidelines from the Behavior Analysis Certification Board’s Professional and Ethical Compliance Code, The National Institutes of Health Guiding Principles for Ethical Research, and the American Psychological Association’s Ethical Principles and Code of Conduct. We review why these guidelines are insufficient in their current form for online research. We will present a case study of crowdsourced recruitment during the Covid-19 pandemic to illustrate potential ethical concerns when using online platforms. Lastly, we will discuss additional guidelines we recommend based on our experience for conducting ethical crowdsourced internet-based research.




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