Academic journal article Ethical Human Psychology and Psychiatry

Editorial

Academic journal article Ethical Human Psychology and Psychiatry

Editorial

Article excerpt

In keeping with the mission of this journal, the five regular articles of this issue, as well as the book review, clarify what otherwise tend to be overlooked crucial ethical problems.

In our first article authors Lawyer, Baergen, and Kuruvilla present their careful review of a major ethical concern: experimental induction of fear and anxiety in human subjects. The ethical questions go beyond subjects' informed voluntary consent. For example, subjects may experience unanticipated distress following experimental procedures. In the mental health realm there can be traumatic aftereffects of fear induction. The authors give helpful practical advice for mitigating harmful aftereffects.

Continuing the theme of ethical informed consent, Noel Hunter is concerned with bias exemplified by reports of drug research with ostensible favorable effects while understating harmful effects. Popular abnormal psychology textbooks were found to have pervasive misrepresentations. Meanwhile, psychosocial treatment tended to be given negatively biased accounts.

Rachel Jane Liebert explicates bias in terms of the concept of ambivalence in bipolar disorder research by considering patients' ambivalence about accepting psychiatric drug treatment for what is itself often questionable diagnosis. Thus, proponents of drug treatment cast "ambivalence" in pathological terms, whereas such ambivalence may signify quite reasonable resistance. …

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