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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.

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DOI (Digital Object Identifier) Link: https://doi.org/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: Journal Item
Copyright Holders: 2008 American Journal of Evaluation
ISSN: 1557-0878
Keywords: social experiments, informed consent, research ethics
Academic Unit/School: Faculty of Wellbeing, Education and Language Studies (WELS) > Health, Wellbeing and Social Care > Health and Social Care
Faculty of Wellbeing, Education and Language Studies (WELS) > Health, Wellbeing and Social Care
Faculty of Wellbeing, Education and Language Studies (WELS)
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Item ID: 38800
Depositing User: Christopher Biggs
Date Deposited: 01 Jul 2010 14:31
Last Modified: 08 Dec 2018 06:19
URI: http://oro.open.ac.uk/id/eprint/38800
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