2.10) Discuss ethical considerations in research into genetic influences on behavior.
Ethics are an important part of psychological research. All psychological research must follow the ethical guidelines in order to ensure that the participants do not suffer unnecessary harm and to make sure that the psychological theory that the study aims to demonstrate is ethically valid.
Specific considerations about ethical guidelines exist in studies which observe into the genetic influences of behavior. One of the reasons for the concerns is because the knowledge about the role of specific genes in behavior is still limited thus definite conclusions cannot be made. Also, genetic research does not take account of environmental factors so it is often too simplified and reductionist. Moreover, the data obtained from a genetic research have a risk of being misused (a historical example is the Holocaust during the WWII) as the purpose of most genetic research are to find out and eliminate the gene which has the potential to develop a certain disease within an individual.
One of the procedures that researchers must include in their genetic studies in order to ensure that they follow the ethical guidelines is debriefing. Debriefing is one of the general ethical principles in any research and it states that researchers must inform participants about the results of the research and assure them that they have not been harmed in any way (especially if deception was used).