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  • Writer's pictureAnna Tookey

Activity - GDO710 - Week 8

This week's activity is to review the different ethical situations and compare these to an ethical checklist. Once compared, determine whether the work is considered low, medium or high risk.

Low risk:

  • "Describes research that presents ethical risks no greater than those encountered in everyday life." (A, Parker, 2022)

Medium Risk:

  • "Describes research in which there is potential for harm or distress but where the likelihood is low and these risks can be mitigated with simple, standardised procedures." (A, Parker, 2022)

  • Playtest is considered a medium-risk activity. Why? Because a medium-risk activity includes any research that involves individuals or groups.

High risk:

  • "Describes activities in which the potential for harm or distress is high without appropriate mechanisms for mitigation. Mitigation might require complex or bespoke planning and approval will require ongoing scrutiny from the ethics committee." (A, Parker, 2022)


The Challenge:

Scenario 1

"A researcher plans to interview eight artists/curators/designers for her thesis.

She offers a letter of introduction about the project, gains written informed consent for the interview from each interviewee, later checks the contents of the transcription with each interviewee, allows the interviewee to withdraw comments / approve the interview record.

The interviews will be used as attributed statements within the thesis. A recognised approach from oral history/social sciences/ethnography/art and design criticism and history is part of the methodology.

The interviews will involve travel in the UK and abroad, the researcher has discussed her travel plans and personal safety with her supervisors." (Falmouth, 2022)

Scenario 2

"A researcher plans to interview around 30 producers of legitimate graffiti at the Southbank Undercroft.

Participants were to be interviewed about their opinions and ideas regarding activities and future possibilities for the Undercroft, and also where relevant, their own graffiti habits and key trends in graffiti practices."

Scenario 3

The research, for a practice-based PhD, involves engaging online presences in social networking sites under a pseudonym. It aims to explore the ways in which identity is constructed online.

The research is such that it cannot be revealed in advance to those involved. The core of the research involves developing a community of online presences into a community of offline friends.


Attempting the Challenge!

Scenario 1

I would classify this study as Medium Risk.

  • The case study involves 8 different people whose content will be shared in a public thesis. Although, the researcher has gone through many processes to ensure that the interviewees will be able to retract anything they want.

  • The researcher has identified multiple different ways to mitigate risks in this scenario.

  • International travel could be a risk due to cultural differences, research into the place the researcher is travelling is vital.

Scenario 2

I would classify this study as Medium Risk.

  • Due to the nature of the research, the researcher will have to approach 30 different people for this study.

  • Graffiti in most places is illegal, however, for this case study, the researcher is only approaching people who have created legitimate works. Therefore it deserves a medium risk classification rather than a high risk.

  • The researcher did not provide any methods of mitigation and did not mention how this research is going to be shared.

Scenario 3

I would classify this study as High Risk.

  • Due to the nature of the research, there will be a high level of deception which is highly unethical. This can cause humiliation and stress for the users that eventually find out what happened.

  • Informed consent cannot be obtained.

  • There is a psychological risk to the end user.



A. Parker (2022) Week 8: Challenge Activity [Falmouth University teaching platform] [website] Accessed 2nd August 2022.


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