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CBSE UGC-NET 2003 Paper (Part 3 of 7)

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Read the following passage and answer the questions based on them.

As a human enterprise, research involves ethical questions, not in terms of the questions we address but in terms of how we address these questions and report our results. Over the past two decades a number of studies have brought into sharp focus some of the issues involved. For example, in one research effort that won a prize from the American Association for the Advancement of Science, subjects were told to teach other subjects ( “learners” ) a list of paired associate words and to punish then with an electric shock when an error was made. The issue in Vitiated was obedience to authority. Although actual shocks were not used, the subjects believed that it was being used and often “administered” high levels despite pleas from the “learners” that it was painful. In another research effort in which a prison environment was simulated, subjects took on the roles of guards and prisoners. Subject “guards'were found to be verbally and physically aggressive to subject” prisoners, “who allowed themselves to be-treated in a dehumanized way. Finally, we are all probably aware of one behavior modification program or another that has been used to shape the behavior children or patients without their consent or voluntary participation. Such programs are dramatic in the issues they raise, hut the underlying question concerning ethical principles of research is fundamental, Do experimenters have the right to require participation? To deceive subjects? That are the ethical responsibilities of researchers to subjects and to psychology as a science? The former has been an issue of concern to the American Psychological Association, and it has adopted a list ofrelevant ethical principles. The essence of these principles is that” the psychologist carries out the investigation with respect and concern for the dignity and welfare of the people who participate. “This includes, evaluating the ethical acceptability of the research, determining whether subjects in the study will be at risk in any way, and establishing a clear and fair agreement with research participants concerning the obligations and responsibilities of each. Although the use of concealment or deception is recognised as necessary in some case, strict guidelines are presented. It is recognized as the responsibility of the investigator to protect participants from physical and mental discomfort, harm and danger. The ethical responsibility of psychologists includes the interpretation and presentation of results as well as the conduct of the research. Of late there has been serious concern in science generally with” the spreading stain of fraud". Some concern with this issue began with charges that Sir Cyril Burt, a once prominent British psychologist, intentionally misrepresented data in his research on the inheritance of intelligence. In other fields of science there have been reports of investigators intentionally manipulating data to enhance their chances of publication, grant funding, promotion, and public recognition. Recently, there was an investigation whether psychologists working in the area of alcoholism had intentionally misrepresented their data. The issue of fraud is one that scientists do not like to recognise or talk about because it goes against the very fabric of the scientific enterprise. Although fraudulent data and falsified conclusions are very rare, the profession of psychologists is beginning to face up to their existence and to take constructive steps in solving the problem.

Much more subtle than fraud, and undoubtedly of much broader significance, is the issue of the effects of personal and social bias on the ways in which issues are developed and the kinds of data that are accepted as evidence in support for one or another kind of enterprise. In considering sex differences, for example, to what extent are research projects developed in a way that is free from bias and to what extent is evidence for or against the existence of sex differences equally likely to be accepted? To what extent do our own social and political values influence not only what is studied but how it is studied and the kinds of conclusions we are prepared to reach? As noted, although scientists make every effort to be objective and remove all possible sources of error and bias from their research, this remains a human enterprise with the potential for personal, social, cultural, and political influence. Finally, we may note in a related way the role of research in the formulation of public policy. Though still in an early stage of development as a science, psychology does relate to fundamental human concerns and psychologists are often called on to suggest the relevance of this research for public policy. This has happened with intelligence tests and immigration policy, child development and the effects of early enrichment programs; and the effects of television violence on aggression in everyday life. Recently, Seligman's work has been related to societal functioning, with the suggestion that some social programs may operate to increase learned helplessness. For example, many Scandinavian countries have served as a model for social reform and social welfare. While praising these accomplishments, one Swedish psychologist has warned that a potential side effect of overly extensive programs in this area may be the development of a broad earned helplessness phenomenon in the population. n sum, among the issues that concern us as researchers and as consumers of research is that of how the results may be interpreted to direct, support, or refute various social policies

  1. The passage says that

    1. Researchers need to be free from all kinds of bias and they always are:

    2. Researchers need to be free from all kinds of bias and they never are:

    3. Researchers need to be free from all kinds of bias and they sometimes are not.

    4. Researchers need not to be free from all kinds of bias and still they always are:

    Answer: c

  2. All the following are the reasons for scientists misrepresenting data except

    1. to receive acclaim

    2. to get research papers published

    3. to intentionally harm competitor colleagues

    4. to facilitate faster flow of funding.

    Answer: c

  3. It can be inferred from the passage that

    1. psychology is in its nascent stage of being evolved into a science.

    2. psychology has evolved fully as a science.

    3. psychology can never evolve into a complete science.

    4. psychology will have to struggle if it wants to evolve into a complete science.

    Answer: a

  4. The psychological research findings

    1. can never be used practically for the purposes of social policy support.

    2. can and should be used for the purposes of social policy support.

    3. can but should not be used for the purposes of social policy support.

    4. the passage does not mention any connection between research and social policy.

    Answer: b

  5. One can assume that

    1. If people are told that a certain thing would happen they tend to believe that it has happened even if it actually has not.

    2. If people are told that a certain thing would happen they never tend to believe that it has happened if it actually has not.

    3. If people are told that a certain thing would happen they never tend to believe that it has happened even if it actually has

    4. None of the above:

    Answer: a

  6. The author is against:

    1. all psychological research.

    2. all research

    3. all research in which the subject is treated badly

    4. all of the above:

    Answer: c

  7. “Subjects” could be

    1. the topics under discussion for psychological research.

    2. the people who volunteer for psychological experiments to be carried out on them.

    3. the animals which are used to carry out experiments.

    4. Both b and c

    Answer: b

  8. The American Psychological Association does all the following except:

    1. give guidelines to carry out research using subjects.

    2. evaluate if a research is ethically acceptable.

    3. decide the responsibilities of all the research participants.

    4. penalize the researcher if his experiment is in any way harmful.

    Answer: d

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