We’ve now added a second batch of films to the website, focused on a range of issues in psychology.

The films are relatively short introductions to a general issue (such as ethics and ethical dilemmas) and each provides an overview of an issue, how it has been applied in a particular study or studies and an evaluation of its strengths / weaknesses / limitations.

John Watson

Ethics and Ethical Issues 6 minutes
This film starts by looking at how stricter ethical guidelines were developed in psychology and then illustrates contemporary ethical guidelines and the issues arising from the potential conflicts between protecting participants and producing socially useful research. It concludes by asking whether ethical guidelines may now have gone too far and if they are stifling new research.

Socially Sensitive Research 6 minutes
While ethics is about the conduct of research, socially sensitive research is about the consequences. More specifically, might it harm some individuals or groups?

Using the example of recent research into genetics and education, this film illustrates the questions typically asked about socially sensitive research and shows how problems may be anticipated and avoided.

Evaluating the usefulness of research

The Usefulness of Psychological Research 5 minutes
Have you ever wondered why some people claim to see the face of Jesus in their toast?
Well, psychologists at the University of Toronto did.

But why?

This film uses a number of studies to illustrate how the usefulness of psychological research is assessed and evaluated.

And if you’re wondering about the toast, it was a prize-winning study for its contribution to understanding face recognition.

Ethnocentrism 6 minutes
This film begins by asking students to think about whether psychology has ethnocentric biases and develops this question through the key concept of social construction. This is illustrated by three potential sources of ethnocentrism:

Does Psychology have an American bias?

– researcher bias
– conceptual bias and
– reporting bias.

The film concludes with three important questions for students to evaluate:

Is there clear evidence of ethnocentrism in psychology?
Is ethnocentrism becoming less of an issue in a globalising world?
Does ethnocentrism apply in the same way to all branches of psychology?

Using Animals in Research 5 minutes
This film looks at how animals were used in psychological research in the recent past, illustrated by Harlow’s experiments where baby rhesus monkeys were isolated in ‘the pit of despair’.

It explains the current ethical and legal regulation of using animals in research, illustrates how decisions are made, and ends with the question of whether animals should ever be used in research.

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