Issues related to socially-sensitive research

Socially sensitive research refers to research that has ethical implications beyond the research situation and may affect individuals or groups within society


Touched on this when talking about ethics with regard to not only benefits to society that need to be weighed up against cost to Pp but also costs to society when a researcher does not think through consequences of research that might further isolate some marginalized group, for example, and lead to further prejudice and discrimination, e.g. race and intelligence.

Milgram was expecting to find that the Germans were different, leading to yet more discrimination on similar scale.

Pathologising of right wing views, potentially due to many early social psychologist having been Jewish, .e.g Adorno’s Authoritarian Personality theory and the Fscale. Right Wing Authoritarianism.

Social identity theory says social categorization is a basic characteristic of human thought and that the mere existence of groups is thus enough to bring about prejudice , leading to the implication that prejudice is inevitable/unavoidable.


Are a certain gender/ethnic group more vulnerable to being diagnosed with mental health problems than others, e.g.females, black, Irish.

Gene counselling; talked about genetic inheritance and schizophrenia; looked at how groups in society could become even further marginalised by work which supports nature over nurture in mental health conditions such as schizophrenia

Also saying that abnormal is inborn/genetic means people are not held responsible for their behaviour, e.g. paedophilia, extreme violence etc.