There are many concerns participants in human subjects studies express. The most frequent of them are information risks, particularly the loss of confidentiality of personal information. The second one is an emotional risk, such as stress, anxiety, fear, confusion, guilt, shame, embarrassment, loss of self-esteem, or triggers of past traumatizing experiences. The last frequent concern is physical risk or harm such as discomfort, pain, fatigue, disease, or illness (University of Oregon, 2020). The usual process for addressing participants’ concerns is compensating in cash or kind. For instance, it can be a gift, a special card, a book, a toy, or food. The type of compensation depends on a person’s demographic and personal features.
Any question or situation can become a trigger for a person, depending on their previous experiences. Thus, experiment conductors have to be careful and have the means to address triggers and help a person in this situation. To do so, conductors have to provide trigger warnings and give the option to skip this part of an experiment. In addition, a participant has to be monitored all the time and, in case of emergency, helped. In addition, it is an excellent idea to provide a person with a list of free counseling in advance. Finally, conductors have to consider a professional to be present at an experiment to help at any moment if a participant has any symptoms of distress (Columbia University, 2020). Thus, there are many ways of addressing triggers for everyone.
Participants claim that their rights are protected well, and they feel comfortable with that. They can choose whether to participate in an experiment or not, and they can stop participating at any time. They are beforehand informed about the experiment’s scenario and what they have to expect. Additionally, these people can ask for help and support, and they will be provided with them.
Research Plan Guidance. (2020). University of Oregon.
Understanding potential risks for human subjects research. (2020). Columbia University.