ERIC Number: ED390901
Record Type: Non-Journal
Publication Date: 1988-Mar
Reference Count: N/A
Population Generalizability and Ethical Dilemmas in Research, Policy, and Practice: Preliminary Considerations.
Laosa, Luis M.
Applied psychologists who provide services in nations composed of multiple and varied cultural groups face certain ethical dilemmas that would not arise in more homogeneous societies. These ethical dilemmas revolve around the concept of population validity. Population validity refers to the generalizability of research findings across different populations. In applied psychology, it emerges as an ethical issue because, in the absence of evidence of population generalizability, it is not possible to predict the outcome of a research application in a population different from that which yielded the research findings. The ethical question for the applied psychologist centers on whether or when it is within the bounds of professional ethics to recommend or implement treatment when the scientific basis that lends validity to the application is based on research from sociocultural populations that differ from that of the intended service receivers. A framework for approaching the dilemma is proposed that includes: (1) scrutiny of the empirical evidence; (2) examination of plausible rational justifications; and (3) design of experimental applications to test the hypothesis of population generalizability. (Contains six references.) (SLD)
Publication Type: Reports - Evaluative; Speeches/Meeting Papers
Education Level: N/A
Authoring Institution: Educational Testing Service, Princeton, NJ.