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Five Provocations for Ethical HCI Research

Conference paper
Authors Barry Brown
Alexandra Weilenmann
Donny McMillan
Lampinen Airi
Published in Proceedings of ACM CHI
Publisher Association for Computing Machinery (ACM)
Publication year 2016
Published at The Linnaeus Centre for Research on Learning, Interaction, and Mediated Communication in Contemporary Society (LinCS)
Department of Applied Information Technology (GU)
Language en
Links www.mobilelifecentre.org/sites/defa...
Subject categories Human Computer Interaction

Abstract

We present five provocations for ethics, and ethical research, in HCI. We discuss, in turn, informed consent, the researcher–participant power differential, presentation of data in publications, the role of ethical review boards, and, lastly, corporate-facilitated projects. By pointing to unintended consequences of regulation and oversimplifications of unresolvable moral conflicts, we propose these provocations not as guidelines or recommendations but as instruments for challenging our views on what it means to do ethical research in HCI. We then suggest an alternative grounded in the sensitivities of those being studied and based on everyday practice and judgement, rather than one driven by bureaucratic, legal, or philosophical concerns. In conclusion, we call for a wider and more practical discussion on ethics within the community, and suggest that we should be more supportive of low-risk ethical experimentation to further the field.

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