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Empirical Data involving Human Participants

Below are examples whereby Ethical Approval is necessary when generating empirical data involving human participants:

  • vulnerable groups for example, children and young people, those with a learning disability or cognitive impairment, or individuals in a dependent or unequal relationship
  • sensitive topics – for example participants’ sexual behaviour, their illegal or political behaviour, their experience of violence, their abuse or exploitation, their mental health, or their gender or ethnic status
  • research involving groups where permission of a gatekeeper is normally required for initial access to members – for example, ethnic or cultural groups, native peoples or indigenous communities
  • research involving deception or which is conducted without participants’ (or participants' legal guardians') full and informed consent at the time the study is carried out
  • access to records of personal or confidential information, including genetic or other biological information, concerning identifiable individuals
  • research which would induce psychological stress, anxiety or humiliation or cause more than minimal pain
  • intrusive interventions – for example, vigorous physical exercise, or techniques such as hypnotherapy.