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hen most people think of ethics (or morals), they think of rules for distinguishing between right and wrong, such as the Golden Rule ("Do unto others as you would have them do unto you"), a code of professional conduct like the ("First of all, do no harm"), a religious creed like the Ten Commandments ("Thou Shalt not kill..."), or a wise aphorisms like the sayings of Confucius.This is the most common way of defining "ethics": norms for conduct that distinguish between acceptable and unacceptable behavior.One may also define ethics as a method, procedure, or perspective for deciding how to act and for analyzing complex problems and issues.
See Glossary of Commonly Used Terms in Research Ethics.
There are several reasons why it is important to adhere to ethical norms in research.
Most people learn ethical norms at home, at school, in church, or in other social settings.
Although most people acquire their sense of right and wrong during childhood, moral development occurs throughout life and human beings pass through different stages of growth as they mature.
These standards also help members of the discipline to coordinate their actions or activities and to establish the public's trust of the discipline.
For instance, ethical standards govern conduct in medicine, law, engineering, and business.While an economist might examine the cost and benefits of various policies related to global warming, an environmental ethicist could examine the ethical values and principles at stake.Many different disciplines, , and professions have standards for behavior that suit their particular aims and goals.Many government agencies, such as the Strive for honesty in all scientific communications.Honestly report data, results, methods and procedures, and publication status. Do not deceive colleagues, research sponsors, or the public.Fourth, ethical norms in research also help to build public support for research.People are more likely to fund a research project if they can trust the quality and integrity of research.An action may be legal but unethical or illegal but ethical.We can also use ethical concepts and principles to criticize, evaluate, propose, or interpret laws.Indeed, in the last century, many social reformers have urged citizens to disobey laws they regarded as immoral or unjust laws.Peaceful civil disobedience is an ethical way of protesting laws or expressing political viewpoints.