Which of the following statements best describes a researcher's obligations regarding the use of animals in psychological research?
- Animals should never be used in research when alternative procedures are available.
- Animals should never be used in research if a research procedure will cause them pain or stress.
- Inflicting pain or stress on animals is acceptable in research only when an alternative (nonpainful) procedure is unavailable and the use of the procedure is justified by the potential value of the study.
- Inflicting pain or stress on animals is acceptable in research as long as it is minimized and the animals life is terminated as soon as is feasible.
The Correct Answer is C.
Standard 8.09(e) of the Ethics Code states that "psychologists use a procedure subjecting animals to pain, stress, or privation only when an alternative procedure is unavailable and the goal is justified by its prospective scientific, educational, or applied value." Principle II.46 of the Canadian Code of Ethics provides a nearly identical guideline.
Answer A: This answer is incorrect as ethical guidelines do not prohibit the use of animals in research.
Answer B: This answer is incorrect as this answer is too broad and does not account for situations when animals may be used.
Answer D: This answer is incorrect as this answer fails to account for the scientific and educational value of the research.