Experimentation in the social sciences, by its very nature, requires researchers to manipulate and control key aspects of the social setting so as to determine what effect, if any, these manipulations have on the people in that setting. Such studies, although unmatched in terms of their scientific yield, nonetheless raise questions of ethics: Do researchers have the moral right to conduct experiments on their fellow human beings? What practices are unacceptable and what procedures are allowable? Can standards be established to safeguard the rights of participants?

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Copyright © 2008 Macmillan Reference USA. This book chapter first appeared in International Encyclopedia of the Social Sciences.

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