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Random assignment and informed consent: A case study of multiple perspectives

Random assignment and informed consent: A case study of multiple perspectives

Walker, Robert, Hoggart, Lesley and Hamilton, Gayle (2008) Random assignment and informed consent: A case study of multiple perspectives. American Journal of Evaluation, 29 (2). pp. 156-174. ISSN 1098-2140 (Print), 1557-0878 (Online) (doi:10.1177/1098214008317206)

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Abstract

Although random assignment is generally the preferred methodology in impact evaluations, it raises numerous ethical concerns, some of which are addressed by securing participants' informed consent. However, there has been little investigation of how consent is obtained in social experiments and the amount of information that can be conveyed—and absorbed—prior to consent. This article reports on the implementation of the Employment Retention and Advancement (ERA) program, a large social experiment in the United Kingdom. Procedures to elicit informed consent were generally scrupulously followed, but even so many participants appeared to have only limited understanding of the experiment and their involvement in it. The reasons for this are articulated and recommendations are made to help ensure, to the extent possible, that potential random assignment study participants adequately understand their situation and their choices.

Item Type: Article
Additional Information: [1] Online version of record published: May 20, 2008. [2] Published in print: June 2008. [3] Published as: American Journal of Evaluation, (2008), Vol. 29, (2), pp. 156-174. [4] The American Journal of Evaluation is the official journal of the American Evaluation Association.
Uncontrolled Keywords: social experiments, informed consent, research ethics
Subjects: H Social Sciences > H Social Sciences (General)
H Social Sciences > HM Sociology
Pre-2014 Departments: School of Health & Social Care
School of Health & Social Care > Department of Health Development
Related URLs:
Last Modified: 14 Oct 2016 09:08
Selected for GREAT 2016: None
Selected for GREAT 2017: None
Selected for GREAT 2018: None
URI: http://gala.gre.ac.uk/id/eprint/3244

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