Ethical decision-making among human movement studies researchers

S.C. Olivier

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Recognising the potential for ethical malpractice in Human Movement Studies (HMS) research, the study sought to evaluate ethical decision-making capabilities among HMS researchers. Senior researchers (n=78) from 15 countries responded to five specially constructed, ethically problematic research proposals in nine allied/sub-discipline areas of HMS. The research proposals presented for review potentially violated several commonly accepted research ethics principles. In terms of data interpretation, primary, importance was accorded to presentation in raw and percentage form. The results indicate that despite the deliberate insertion of ethical problem areas, only 1.8 % of comments advocated rejection of the proposals on ethical grounds. The study reveals an asymmetry between the consequentialist ethics of most HMS researchers and the deontological orientation of ethics codes put in place to guide them. The results indicate that considerations such as informed consent, use of captive populations, potential for harm, confidentiality, privacy, need for medical screening, and cultural considerations, are not taken seriously enough in HMS research. It is argued that only a sound educative effort based on deontological principles will produce improvements.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)57-67
Number of pages11
JournalSouth African Journal for Research in Sport, Physical Education and Recreation
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - 2000


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