Ethics Examples

Review the following example scenarios and decide whether there are any ethical problems. If there are ethical issues, decide how to modify the situation to reduce the ethical problems

Example 1

Terry changed some of the data she collected just a little bit because it was so close to supporting her hypothesis. Her advisor told her that if she obtained significant findings, her paper might be accepted at an important conference. Terry worked very hard in school, but knows that having a research paper on her record will help with obtaining a job.

Is this ethical?

Example 2

Deb and Tony helped their professor run a study using first year undergraduate students. They hoped the study would be seen as important and published in a journal. During the runs, two of the 100 students behaved very differently from the others. Deb and Tony figured that because these students were so “out of step” with the others, they would delete their scores because they did not seem to be representative of student behavior.

Does this situation pose a problem?

Example 3

Jenny was writing a paper on pair programming in classroom environments. Although she did properly cite her sources in a bibliography, most of the paragraphs in her paper were only slightly altered versions of the books she used.

How do you see Jenny’s actions?

Example 4

Jack was conducting a study that he had planned for a long time. As he was collecting data, he began to notice that the hypothesis he had going into the study was not being confirmed. However, something else that would definitely confirm another hypothesis was unfolding. He decided to change his hypothesis.

Was this action ethical?

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