Learning Objectives

  1. Stanley Milgram’s obedience experiments led to intensive debate about the extent to which deception could be tolerated in psychological research and how harm to subjects should be evaluated.
  2. Egregious violations of human rights by researchers, including scientists in Nazi Germany and researchers in the Tuskegee syphilis study, led to adoption of federal ethical standards for research on human subjects.
  3. The 1979 Belmont Report developed by a national commission established three basic ethical standards for the protection of human subjects: respect for persons, beneficence, and justice. The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services adopted in 1991 a Federal Policy for the Protection of Human Subjects. This policy requires that every institution seeking federal funding for biomedical or behavioral research on human subjects have an institutional review board to exercise oversight.